Coronavirus

Will Smith Brings Hip-Hop Flavor to 'Friend Like Me' Remake Featuring DJ Khaled: Listen

Will Smith
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Will Smith attends the premiere of Disney's "Aladdin" on May 21, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Smith also stopped by 'Kimmel' to chat about 'Aladdin.'

Will Smith is keeping busy in the days ahead of Aladdin's release. On Tuesday (May 21), the 50-year-old stopped by Kimmel for an appearance to speak about shooting the film across the globe, taking on the unfamiliar role as the Genie, and much more.

"Blue becomes me. I enjoy being blue. What's so interesting that people don't realize, when I'm blue Genie, there's no part of that character that's actually me," Will told the crowd. "It's a 100 percent CGI character. It's totally created."

The Philly-born multi-hyphenate felt like every angle of his 30 years in entertainment came together to intersect for Aladdin. "30 years of things that I've cultivated as a performer, and all of them got used in this movie. If there was a boxing scene, it would've been everything I've ever done," he said.

Meanwhile, Smith and DJ Khaled teamed up to bring some hip-hop flavor to the Disney movie for a remake of Robin Williams' original "Friend Like Me." The Fresh Prince dabbles in his '90s hip-hop roots, which should provide a heavy dose of nostalgia for Men In Black fans with the blockbuster actor all over the film's soundtrack. 

"I went into the studio the first day and I really wanted to play with it to see if I could add something to it. Literally 30 minutes in the studio, and started to play with the song [in] the 94/96 BPM range. That BPM range is right old-school hip-hop. So I grabbed The Honey Drippers' ‘Impeach Your President’ [sic] and I had them throw that breakbeat under there," Smith said in a press release. "I messed around with that. And I messed around with Erik B. & Rakim’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’ under ‘Friend Like Me.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m home!’ I started playing with the hip-hop flavor, and the Genie was really born in my mind from the music."

Watch Will Smith on Kimmel and listen to the "Friend Like Me" rework below. Aladdin releases in theaters Friday (May 24). 

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.