Will Smith says he didn’t like that his decision not to use curse words or derogatory words against women in his rap music resulted in fans calling him “soft.”
Will Smith sat down in a tell-all recently with David Letterman for his upcoming Netflix special, where he reflected on how he felt after being mocked in his music career.
The interview addresses several things by Smith but not the recent slap saga with Chris Rock because it was filmed prior to the Oscars’ viral moment.
Letterman pointed out that he became aware of Will due to his affiliation with DJ Jazzy Jeff, whom he credits as “one of the early masters of scratching and cutting,” in hip hop.
“That was really our major distinguishing quality at the time,” Smith picked up after Letterman pointed out their infusion of humor in the music. “It was comedy, it was punchlines, it was fun. We stood out in a really a good way.”
“Not pressure as much as it was always that I was ‘soft,’” Smith said. “Dave, I hated that, being called soft,” he said.
Will Smith went on to explain why he chose his music to be that way, noting that when he was younger, he wrote raps that had profanities that his grandmother came into the custody of.
“The origin of my style and why I pursued it in that way [is] when I was about 12, my grandmother, she found my first rap book,” he began.
“I couldn’t even curse well,” he joked. “It was like, ‘Sht as damn/Will, you the man.’ Not even good cursing. My grandmother found my rap book and wrote a letter in [the] front of my book and said, ‘Dear Willard, truly intelligent people do not have to use words like these to express themselves. Please show the world that you’re as smart as we think you are. Love, Gigi.’ And that was the reason I never cursed in any of my records,” he said.
The full interview also has Will Smith speaking about his experience using psychedelics, and in one instance, he explained a vision of seeing his career “going away.”
Both of these discussions have appeared as premonitions as after the Oscars slap moment, the actor faced major backlash not only in his acting career as many of his projects were placed on hold, but he was also trolled, with many calling him “soft” and mocking him for hitting Rock.
Even Chris Rock has taken a dig at Will’s perceived weak rap skills.
“I got smacked by the softest n***a that ever rapped,” Rock said in a stand-up session earlier this month.