90’s Music Review: Homebase by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Already having achieved notable music success through the previous two albums, “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper” and “In this Corner….”, and maintaining the popular sitcom, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince aimed to prove they could still produce hits by with the 1991 release of their third album, “Homebase.” In terms of sales, this album proved successful going certified Double Platinum and receiving an American Music award for the Favorite Hip Hop Album of the 91 year.

“Homebase” is one of the last rap albums with the ‘just want to have fun’ flavor, featuring soul-filled backgrounds and laid-back lyrics, which were very popular in the early 90’s right before gangsta rap became mainstream. With hits “You Saw My Blinker” and “The Things that You Do”, Smith and Towns stick to their guns of success, in making their young audiences laugh and feel good while enjoying their youth.

This album benefited from being released at the height of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” sitcom, but also from the popular hit “Summertime.” This single features backgrounds samples of the 80’s group Kool and the Gang’s “Summer Madness” with Will Smith vividly describing summertime in his hometown of Philadephia. “Summertime” has become a timeless classic, rising to number 4 on the Billboard100 list and being the number 1 played Rap Single during the year of its release. Today, “Summertime” recieves continous radio play, usually during the spring and summer months of the year. No doubt, this single amazingly made the whole album a success.

While the rest of this album did not leave as impressionable comparisons, “Homebase” does feature other notable samples from previous 80’s and 70’s hits. “Ring my Bell” and “A Dog is a Dog” are offer smooth rap renditions to 70’s singer Anita Ward and her Disco styles. The duo also samples the background sounds of the 80’s singer Rick James‘ “Give It to Me Baby” in the single, “I’m All That.”

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