DJ Jazzy Jeff Reflects On Making 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Theme
Now this is a story all about how… Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff put together the iconic theme song for Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
“We literally went into the studio and made the theme song in about 15 minutes,” Jazzy Jeff (aka Jeffrey Townes) told Entertainment Weekly.
“I ended up just going in and programming some music, and he wrote something and laid it down. I did a rough mix and sent it in, and in about three weeks it was on NBC.”
Jazzy Jeff, now 52, was the producer of the theme, officially titled "Yo Home To Bel-Air," with music composed by Quincy Jones with lyrics by Smith.
The sitcom only ran for six seasons, from 1990 to 1996, but the theme is familiar to people around the world thanks to decades of syndication and streaming.
“You never anticipate that, that level of success,” said Jazzy Jeff, who had a recurring role on Smith’s series. “You know, people just know it. I do anywhere from 160 to a 180 DJ dates a year and I can assure you that I play it 98 percent of the time, just out of necessity.
“I don’t care where you are in this world. If you drop the theme song in front of 50,000 people on a beach in Singapore at a festival, everybody sings it. It’s everywhere.”
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-creator Andy Borowitz told EW the song is part of Americana.
“It’s sort of comfort food,” he said.
“You know, there’s no way to measure this, but is there a hip-hop song that more people around the world know all the words to? Probably not.”
Watch Will Smith revisit the theme song: