Will Smith once said in an award show acceptance speech that he didn't need to cuss in his raps to sell records, prompting Eminem to famously call him out in "The Real Slim Shady" with this line:
Will Smith don't gotta cuss in his raps to sell records, well I do, so f**k him and f**k you too.
That line from Eminem is as great as Will Smith's holier-than-thou approach to accepting awards is obnoxious, but both moments ignore one long forgotten fact: Will Smith totally tried to cuss in his raps to sell records once, and the results were absurd.
See, in the years following DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's (who will from here on out be referred to as "Will Smith" to save keystrokes) third album, rap music had taken a serious turn for the gangster. Suddenly, the duo's brand of "Parents Just Don't Understand" jokery was completely out of touch with what discerning rap fans craved, which was songs about the gritty realities of life on the street interspersed with the occasional endorsement of smoking weed every day.
Inexplicably, Will Smith decided that the best way to address claims of his music being for squares was to release a four-minute song about a minor traffic accident and pepper it with enough threats of violence against women to make it a strong contender for inclusion on any future Chris Brown cover album.
If you don't have time to watch the video, here are some highlights:
The Part Where He Threatens to Break His Girlfriend's Wrist
At the 0:56 mark of the song, Will Smith sets the tone with this line:
She smacked my hand when I put it on her knee/I said hit me again and I'll break your wrist.
OK, for starters, that doesn't even sort of rhyme. But beyond that, what the hell, Will Smith? You do realize you can't just hit people as a solution to all of your problems, right? And you especially can't hit women for rejecting your sexual advances. You might as well be threatening to beat up a senior citizen.
The Part Where He Threatens to Beat Up a Senior Citizen
Man, he was really swinging for the fences here, yeah? At the 1:50 mark, the nicest man in rap comes through with this line about the old woman who had just hit his new car:
The only thing stopping me from breaking her nose/Was I was 21 and she was 90 years old.
So, it's not the fact that she's a woman. It's not the fact that she's an elderly woman. It's just the fact that she's 90 and he's only 21. If not for that, Will Smith is wearing this broad out with punches to the face.
The Part Where He Tears Shit Up In Court
The crazy is kicked up several notches once the story moves to the courtroom. Keep in mind, we're talking about a minor traffic accident here, but Will Smith plays it up like we're all getting a firsthand account of the murder trial of the century:
Well I'll be damned/Wrinkled old bag started crying on the stand/The bailiff grabbed me slammed me on the ground/Judge said boy you better calm down/Aren't you one of them damn rap singers/Yeah, then I gave him the finger.
Basically, Will Smith's version of hardcore rap is an unusually aggressive taping of Judge Judy.
The Part Where He Gets Away Clean
So how does this tale of justice gone awry wrap up? Like this:
Judge held me contempt of court/For giving him the finger and things of that sort.
Giving him the finger and "things of that sort"? What else is there that's on par with giving a judge the finger? Is Will Smith trying to tell us he whipped his cock out? Because that would be kind of rad. But judging from this line, we're guessing that didn't happen:
Anything to say before you're dismissed/Just one you saw my blinker bitch.
The charge: Contempt of court. The punishment: Being allowed one last opportunity to verbally assault an elderly woman before going home for the day.
Justice in America, Big Willie style.