By David Paul
Will Smith has always been an innovator; with DJ Jazzy Jeff they were one of the first ever presented with a Grammy for Best Rap Performance. The Fresh Prince was an actor/rapper long before Samuel L. Jackson needed to add credibility to movies staring rappers turned actors.
If you’re looking for songs about bitches, blunts and 24 inch rims, look elsewhere. Lost and Found, Smith’s most recent release leaves much to be desired in that arena. Will Smith is as angry or, at least as angry as a self-proclaimed “Nice Guy” can be. Do you remember that episode of Fresh Prince where Carlton goes to the hood and becomes all Gangsta-like? On first listen Lost and Found plays just like that. With a harder than usual sound, Big Will expresses his displeasure for the current rap scene, how great his movies are, how much he is paid for them and how he wishes he told the girls to drop it likes it’s hot.
Lost and Found is not mind-blowing or innovative. This is Smith doing what he does best since day one–showcasing his ability as a rapper and a lyricist, especially on the opening track, “Here He Comes.” It’s not just because it is sung to the tune of the Spiderman theme, but also boasts an appearance of DJ Jazzy Jeff, who produces the track. The ubiquitous Snoop Dogg also makes an appearance, discussing the virtues of self-restraint, which, like the Carlton dance, works on so many levels.