Will Smith Announces New Hip-Hop Inspired Podcast 'Class Of '88'

22 September 2023 | 3:50 pm | Mary Varvaris

"I’m hyped to share my first-hand experiences and those of some of hip-hop’s greatest legends."

Will Smith performing in Budapest

Will Smith performing in Budapest (Source: Supplied)

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Actor, producer and rapper Will Smith has announced his latest venture: the Independence Day actor has teamed up with Audible and Amazon Music and will unveil a new podcast entitled Class Of ’88.

Inspired by the hip-hop songs and artists that dominated the scene in 1988, Smith will host interviews with icons of the genre, including Salt N Pepa, DMC, Chuck D, Queen Latifah, Rakim and more. All eight episodes of the podcast will premiere on Audible and Amazon Music on Thursday, 28 October.

“Hip-hop has been a central part of my life for over four decades,” Smith commented 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 eight episodes of Class Of ’88 won’t only feature interviews but will also contain archival recordings, never-before-heard stories, and tales from Will Smith himself.

In 2014, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff reunited and partied like it was 1991 with a performance of the iconic Summertime. That reunion followed their 2013 appearance on The Graham Norton Show, during which they (and Alfonso "Carlton" Ribeiro and Jaden Smithbusted out the Fresh Prince theme to crazy-rapturous applause

In March, the Australian hip-hop documentary Burn Gently was released, to the delight of the Australian hip-hop scene and its fans.

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The documentary unveiled “an exploration into the ins and outs of the Australian music industry, its growth, pressures, expectations and hardships, its success and failings” and starred numerous influential figures of the scene, including 360, Bliss N Eso, Urthboy, Genesis Owusu, Ecca Vandal, Michelle Grace Hunder, Sampa The Great and many more.

Antony Attridge of Burn Gently Enterprises commented in a statement, “We feel like hip hop has always had to fight for its place in the Aus music scene.

“We wanted to tell a story that championed the incredible careers and influence of the many artists whilst demonstrating that an often-stigmatised genre is so much more than its common stereotypes.”

Will Class Of ’88 also reach for those lofty goals? We’ll have to wait and see.