On this date in 1989, Rap/Hip-Hop duo, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (now known as Will Smith) won the first rap Grammy for their hit single, “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” I remember listening to this song and saying to myself; "No, Parent’s just don’t understand.” This was a major milestone for the Rap/Hip-Hop Community. The music academy finally recognized rap/hip-hop as a legitimate genre of music.
Another classic that DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince went on to record is the summertime anthem, “Summertime.” This song is infused with nice beats and good lyrics that even when I think about it today, I’m taken to memories of the beach, summer barbecues or just time hanging out with friends.
Rap/Hip Hop, at its early creation and even now, has always been about expression. Young men and women have been able to assemble rhymes that tell an eloquent story or that give them insight to their lives. They have been able to take these words and create metaphors and poetry.
I’m grateful for DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince for creating rap/hip-hop music that left me with a feeling of nostalgia. Artists like these have helped to give voice and opportunity to other rap/hip-hop artists that currently use rap/hip-hop to communicate with world leaders, Fortune 500 companies and inspire generations.
Upper Iowa University recognizes DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince for their accomplishments and the expression known as rap/hip-hop.