Steve Harvey or Dame Dash might consider Will Smith a punk for slapping Chris Rock at this year’s Oscars show. But there’s one person who says that The Fresh Prince has always been anything but. DJ Jazzy Jeff, Smith’s longtime collaborator, and friend, sat down for a recent interview with the FAQ Podcast and admitted the Academy Award-winning actor has more guts than people might think, even himself.
“I’ve had people say, ‘Oh, he wouldn’t have done that to no gangsta,’” he said. “Let me tell you something about Will. Will is somebody that cliff dove in Jamaica and couldn’t swim. Will was the person that, whatever he’s afraid of, he runs to. I ain’t got that in me. I don’t have that in me at all. I’ve watched Will almost die numerous times running straight.” But it’s what Jazzy Jeff said afterwards that makes people wonder if Smith would go from “almost die” to dead in an instant.
“Will would’ve slapped Mike Tyson,” Jazzy Jeff alleged. “It did not matter who was there. Will would’ve got his ass beat, but he was going to do what he was going to do regardless of who it was. It wasn’t for fake. It wasn’t for show… If that was a grizzly bear, he would have did it. I know him.”
Jazzy Jeff’s comments echo his statement from this past April at the Closed Sessions’ Legends Conversation series in Chicago, sans the Tyson remark. Both times, however, Jazzy Jeff admitted that while he wasn’t proud of how his friend handled that moment, people make mistakes.
“I can name 50 times that [Smith] should’ve smacked the shit out of somebody, and he didn’t,” the Philly-born turntablist continued. “So for him to have a lapse in judgment, he’s human. And I think a lot of the criticism comes from the people who don’t think people like that are human.”
While most people will question if Jazzy Jeff really believes what he said about his good buddy, we can’t say the idea hasn’t been toyed with before by the duo. Watch the 1989 song below from DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson,” and let us know if you really think Smith would stand a chance.