In the latest episode of TIDAL’s Rap Radar Podcast, hosts Elliott Wilson and Brian “B. Dot” Miller travel to Budapest for a rare in-depth interview with iconic rapper and actor Will Smith, who opened up about his life, career, and return to his first passion.
“I spent two years trying to find that way back in,” Smith said while discussing his recently released viral freestyle (This interview predated the “Icon (Remix)” alongside his son, Jaden Smith.). “I stopped working for two years and took a deep dive … trying to find a new flavor, a new me. I started writing again, finding a way to say the shit that’s in my mind.”
Smith jokingly noted that it’s a whole new generation now, sharing that fellow comedian Anthony Anderson’s son had asked him, “Dad, does Will Smith rap?”
He largely credits social media for helping to re-inspire his creativity.
“I’m burning again creatively,” he said. “Now I have the outlets I didn’t have before. I’m in the studio now, and I have real things to say. That’s the thing that’s gonna be new and different and interesting about the music that I create going forward.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he also responded to Wilson noting that in the heyday of his rap career, people always wanted him to justify his positivity.
“It was always difficult to hear people say I was soft and my music was cotton candy,” he noted. “I always wanted to fight to prove myself. Fighting yourself to maintain positivity is the hardest fight you’re ever going to have … that struggle to stay my course, be the person in the world that I wanted to be no matter what people said.”
Father’s Day 1998. Took my Daddio for a cruise in my new whip! He passed a little over a year ago. I miss U Daddio!
Throughout the hour-long sitdown, Smith also discussed his marriage, admiration of Drake’s sustained success, and the loss of his father. “That time was a deep changing for me in my life,” he says. “My father dying sort of released me to be me.”
Check out the full interview via TIDAL below.