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Will Smith To Launch Hip Hop Podcast “Class Of 88”



"Class of 88" Hip Hop Podcast To Be Launched By Will Smith
Will Smith. Image source: Matt Winkelmeyer, Getty Images.

Will Smith is adept at keeping his fans intrigued. The actor’s latest venture, the “Class of 88” podcast, is sure to captivate Hip Hop enthusiasts.

Hip Hop was Will Smith’s driving force long before he moved to Bel Air to assume the throne as the Fresh Prince. In the 1980s, the young Smith could be found rocking the mic with DJ Jazzy Jeff on the turntables. The aim was to move the crowd, something that continues to be the actor’s motivation though on different frontiers.

In the years since Will Smith rocked the stage with the hit single “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” his artistry has evolved. But there’s one thing certain: Hip Hop has never left the actor. Smith’s new Hip Hop podcast continues to prove how much he values the art form.

Make Space: Will Smith’s Bringing “Class of 88”

There are many podcasts out there which shine the spotlight on Hip Hop. So, what will set Will Smith’s offering apart from the others? This podcast will focus on one monumental year in Hip Hop and those who elevated the art form to a whole new level. As Billboard notes,

Smith will explore the landmark year of 1988, which included the rise of Public Enemy, the ascension of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and the outpouring of female MCs such as Salt-N-Pepa and Queen Latifah, “an area in which Smith certainly has expertise.

No one knows the prolific nature of this time period like Will Smith. In 1989, he and DJ Jazzy Jeff changed the game by winning the first Grammy for the best rap performance, an obvious sign of the times.

What’s So Special about 1988

A 2011 article by Victor Simmons, now found in the New York Public Library, terms 1988 as the year of Hip Hop. The 1980s was a decade of change. It was a transformative year. None were quite so impacted by the tumult as New Yorkers.

Out of the ashes, a phoenix rises. As written, “The South Bronx suffered dearly during the ’80s, and by 1988, it wasn’t burning any longer; it had already been burned. By 1988, Hip-Hop was already deeply entrenched in the minds of many. A new breed of rap artists emerged to take hold of the imaginations of its listeners.”

And a new era began. Therein lies the prolific nature of 1988 as it relates to hip-hop.

Much Success to Will Smith: Mad Love to Give

Given that Hip Hop is in one of its most significant celebratory years, there is no time to honor the changemakers like the present. And a podcast that brings these greats up to the mic to expound upon their impact is something incredible. Do we need another hip-hop podcast? Of course, the culture can never get enough of a good thing. The more avenues available to learn from the ones who have done it and are still doing it, the better.

So, all the best to Will Smith in this new venture. This new platform is truly a gift to the fans of hip-hop. For those who are eager to catch “Class of 88,” the eight-series podcast will begin streaming on Oct. 26 and become available on Amazon Music and Audible.

Written by Renae Richardson 

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