DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince – aka Will Smith – released their single “Summertime” in 1991, which quickly became a recurring summer anthem. Speaking with the Village Voice, Jeff explained that they never expected the tune to grow such long legs and that they keep waiting for the song to bite the bullet.

“Every year, Will and I are waiting for this record to die,” he said. “Not in a bad way, but just like, you didn’t think that this song was going to be like this. We knew it was a great record and thought people might play it every once in a blue moon, but not every summer. It’s almost like this song is the launch of peoples’ summer.”

After the record kept popping up over the next few years, Jeff realized its staying power. Even now, he feels like the record has withstood the test of time. “That’s one of the only records we made that makes me feel exactly the same as I did the day it came out. Everything was captured so perfectly. When Will’s talking about little kids playing in the water plug, I go immediately back to my childhood to a fire hydrant in West Philly. That’s how we grew up, but not realizing that everybody has some version of what summertime meant to them.”

He also shot down rumors that Rakim had something to do with the song, claiming that he had no part in making the record.

“He had absolutely nothing to do with it. When Will did ‘Summertime,’ I remember telling him, ‘Don’t say your name.’ If


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would’ve made ‘Summertime’ and didn’t say his name, you could not dismiss that you like this song,” he continued. “If he had said his name in the beginning, there’d be people who would’ve just turned it off or dismissed it. Will was always very hyper and I told him, ‘Bring it back. Vibe with it.’ And when he did that, everyone was like, ‘Wow. He sounds like Rakim.’ From the first day we played the record for people, they thought it was Rakim. When we first released it, everyone was like, ‘Did you hear that new song that Rakim did?'”

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