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Will Smith has been outspoken about his rapping career, saying he “hated” being called “soft” because he didn’t swear in his songs.
The actor spoke to David Letterman during an episode of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” taped before the infamous Oscars scandal.
Among the various topics discussed in the interview, Smith recalled his time as a member of the hip-hop duo, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.
The pair had several hit tracks after forming a duo in 1984, and their five studio albums proved to be huge hits.
“You and Jeff had humor in your music,” Letterman said.
“That was really our main distinguishing quality at the time,” Smith said in response. “It was comedy, it was punchlines, it was fun. We stand out in a very good way. We had our own lane.”
Will Smith says he “hated” being called “soft” in the rap industry. Getty Images
Smith was asked if he faced any pressure to quit music, to which he replied: “Not as much pressure as it always was that it was soft. He hated that, being called soft.”
The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star consciously moved to avoid swearing in most of his discography.
The “King Richard” actor said the reason he didn’t swear was because of something his grandmother told him when he was 12 years old.
After finding Smith’s rap lyric notebook that had some swear words in it, his grandmother wrote him a letter.
“Dear Willard, truly intelligent people don’t have to use words like these to express themselves. Please show the world that you are as smart as we think you are. With love, Gigi,” she wrote.
“That was the reason I never swore on any of my records,” Smith told Letterman.