That’s My Jam is a weekly feature where one person from the Selective Hearing staff goes to wax poetic about music that is pivotal to their musical tastes. Whether that would be an album, a song, or anything in-between. We all had to start somewhere.
Release Date: November 25, 1997
- Y’all Know
- Gettin Jiggy Wit It
- Candy feat. Larry Blackmon & Cameo
- Chasing Forever
- Keith B-Real I (Interlude)
- Don’t Say Nothin
- Yes Yes Y’all feat. Camp Lo
- I Loved You
- Kieth B-Real II (Interlude)
- It’s All Good
- Just The Two Of Us
- Keith B-Real III (Interlude)
- Big Willie Style feat. Left Eye
- Men In Black feat. Coko
Will Smith’s solo debut was released in 1997 and features four chart-topping singles. (Men In Black, Getting Jiggy Wit It, Miami and Just The Two Of Us)
The album spent seven weeks in the Billboard 200 Top 10 and 99 weeks on the chart until it fell off. This album also garnered Will Smith two Grammy awards. One in 1997 for Best Solo Rap Performance for Men In Black and once more in the same category in 1998 for Getting Jiggy Wit It.
Many people give this album some flack because it’s “safe” and “family-friendly,” but if you look at Will Smith’s career with his partner DJ Jazzy Jeff it was expected he would continue on the path of light-hearted Hip-Pop.
And really, there’s nothing wrong with that, as this album is mostly about promoting positivity, love and having a good time. You get a bunch of sample-heavy party songs (Candy, It’s All Good) mixed in with some R&B crossovers. (Chasing Forever, I Loved You)
That shouldn’t be anything new to long-time Urban music listeners since that’s been the norm for a while.
Even when he’s taking on his haters (Don’t Say Nothin), Smith doesn’t resort to the typical curse-laden posturing many rappers use as retaliation. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t fall into the trap of bragging too much, but at least he finds a clean way of getting his point across.
So yes, in the end, this is a very harmless album, and perhaps it’s a little too soft for those who like their Hip-Hop focused on social issues or their beats harder than Chinese math. (bonus points if you know where that line is from)