Trending Tuesdays, III: A Rap Career in Will-Smithereens

By Arlene Lormestoire

Via Red River Noise

“Hola mamacit-a/Go get me a beer-a” are the first two lines of Will Smith’s feature on Bomba Estereo’s new song, “Fiesta (Remix).” Suprising? Not even.

The prime actor, part-time rapper of the late 90’s generously lends his voice to this electro-Columbian earworm. Smith somehow applies his heavy, 90’s method of rapping with unnecessary pauses between sentences. In between these sentences, Smith miraculously channels his inner Pitbull, leaving listeners dreading the familiar “dale”. Although rap has arguably become worse in the present day, Smith only reminds us that bad rapping exists in the form of 47-year old man approaching old-age.

This blog post, however, will not be entirely based on Smith’s surprise appearance on Bomba Estereo’s song, but rather his declining grip on the rap world as a whole. Smith started out his music career in the rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, landing hits such as the well-known “Summertime.” This groovy, light-hearted song features the ‘Prince’ at his best, weaving through the grand embroidery of suitable flow and rhythm. He evens spouts the line “But what about the groove that soothes, that moves romance?” Smith’s rap skills aren’t subpar in the least, and he brilliantly keeps the song interesting despite his monotone voice. Fast forward a few years later, even his hit “Get Jiggy Wit It” proves to be a song that deserves to be replayed. Smith rapidly moves from verse to verse, creating his own tone of funky and tough at the same time.

In his last album, “Lost and Found,” his rap starts to slow down, almost as if it’s tired of its own existence. Even in the best song “Switch”, his verses transform into a tired rendition of Summertime. Eventually it is evident that his style has lost its charm, and unfortunately, so has the song.

“Fiesta (Remix)” is an electronic bonanza that has a catchy breakdown and an intricate guitar theme that beckons you to the sandy beaches of Columbia, dancing in the sunset. Smith’s addition, however, takes away from that reverie and brings you back to the cold harsh world of bad remixes.  Although his rapping isn’t depressingly bad, it simply does not fit this up-beat, Spanish song.

I strongly suggest you listen to “Fiesta” by Bomba Estereo. It gives you the same form of delightful satisfaction, and you won’t have to skip through Smith’s necessary rapping. Perhaps he said it best himself back on “Summertime:” “if it ain’t broke, then don’t try to fix it”.
Arlene Lormestoire is a Highlighter Staff Columnist. Email her at music@nyunews.com
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