Will Smith/Instagram Will Smith and Martin Lawrence
Will Smith was supposed to make his musical comeback at the Grammys on Sunday evening, but had to cancel the surprise.
The Fresh Prince was originally intended to be part of the 65th Grammy Awards celebrating the 50th anniversary of the hip-hop tribute, Questlove — who produced the more than 10-minute performance — told me. Variety. Host Trevor Noah previously insinuated there would be a few surprise appearances, but 54-year-old Smith had to drop out after he started firing Bad Boys 4.
“I’ll give away the spoiler warning. Will Smith was part of the festivities tonight, but they started firing Bad Boys 4 this week,” Questlove, 52, told Variety on the red carpet. “There were a lot of prep shots he had to do, so we had to get rid of Will.”
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Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy quest love
Questlove described his process of choosing which performers to see on stage, culminating in a total of 27 minutes of performances that he eventually narrowed down to 14. While he was keen for Smith to surprise the audience, he understood and added admitting that getting Smith was “a shot in the dark” as the actor is “always shooting movies”.
The four-time Grammy winner said there were a lot of people in the production who were also busy, and he understood their need to fit their schedules.
“We had a lot of people, and some of them have other jobs,” he said. “[Queen] Latifah and LL [Cool J] had to leave their respective shows to come and do this, so there were a lot of legitimate reasons why we couldn’t be all inclusive for some people. I promise you it’s gonna be great”
And amazingly it was – the performance featured a tribute to Nelly’s 2002 “Hot in Herre”, Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella’s 1988 “My Mike Sounds Nice”, and Busta Rhymes reciting all the lyrics from his featured jump in Chris Brown’s 2011 single, “Look at Me Now.”
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Rounding out the podium of artists were Big Boi, De La Soul, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Mele Mel & Scorpio/Ethiopian King, DJ Drama, Future, Ice-T, Lil Baby, Rahiem, Rakim, The Lox, Method Man, Public Enemy , Queen Latifah, RUN-DMC, Too $hort, Scarface and Swizz Beatz. The performance ended with a production of Lil Uzi Vert’s 2022 hit “Just Wanna Rock.”
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While Smith was unable to make the show, he reunited with his comrade Bad boy Martin Lawrence in a video posted to his Instagram on Tuesday teasing the new film. “IT’S ABOUT THAT TIME!” read the caption.