Will Smith Will ‘Delve Into The Origins’ Of Hip-Hop With ‘Class Of 88’ Podcast
Will Smith wasn’t going to let hip-hop 50 pass without getting in on the fun. The legendary rapper turned Academy Award-winning actor has a podcast aimed at celebrating a pivotal year in hip-hop history.
The King Richard star teamed up with Audible and Wondery to launch a limited-edition hip-hop podcast called “Class of ’88,” Billboard reports. The eight-episode podcast will feature a few of Smith’s friends and fellow hip-hop greats including Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Rakim, Fab 5 Freddy, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Chuck D, and DJ Red Alert.
Smith was selected to host the podcast that celebrates the central year “that defined the global cultural phenomenon of Hip-Hop.”
“Hip-Hop has been a central part of my life for over four decades,” Smith said in a statement.
“I’m hyped to share my first-hand experiences and those of some of Hip-Hop’s greatest legends as we delve into the origins of one of the most influential genres of music in history.”
The podcast will relive the significant year in hip-hop that introduced icons of the art form, including Public Enemy, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, and of course DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. 1988 was a crucial year for Smith and Jazzy Jeff as the pair skyrocketed to fame with the success of their hit “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”
The song became the first to win the Grammy for Best Rap Performance at the 1989 Grammy Awards. But Smith, Jazzy Jeff, Salt-N-Pepa, and others boycotted the awards show upon learning that their category would not be televised.
Many years later, in 2016, Smith would lead a boycott against the Academy Awards as part of the “Oscars So White” backlash. He won his first Oscar in 2022, moments after he walked onstage to slap comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
His new eight-episode podcast series was produced by Wondery, Audible, Westbrook, and Awfully Nice and will be available on Amazon Music and Audible beginning Oct. 26. Prime members can also listen ad-free on Amazon Music. The official trailer for the podcast can be heard here.