Review Summary: Being their freshman album, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince release a excellent album, containing great beats and fresh rhymes, making this a record you can listen to the whole way through.
Will Smith and Jeff Townes go together like a Big Mac and fries. With amazing scratches and "funky fresh" beats, provided by Will's hilarious stories, they gave teens and also adults music that is 10 times better than a book. As we all know, Will Smith is one of the most popular actors of our time, having being the star of the hit show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and coming out with recent big blockbusters such as I Am Legend, and the warm-hearted The Pursuit of Happiness. But what was Mr. Smith doing before his movie career took off? He was rappin' the rhymes of course!
While Jeff was performing at a party down the street from Will's house, his hype man was missing. So Smith decided to fill in, and from that point on, all that was created was magic. While playing local parties and such, they got the attention of Paul Oakenfold, who at the time was an A&R of Word Up records, which got them to release their first single "Girls Ain't Nothing But Touble", and soon after would come out with their debut album Rock the House. That is when the 2 saw the road to success.
Rock the House has everything you could want from a pop-rap album. It has funny scenarios being rapped by Will , with amazing beats backing him up. The first single off the album, "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble" is a perfect way to summarize the album. It has Will rapping about when everything seems like it's going great with a pretty lady, something always goes wrong. With some of Will's best lyrics to date, it is easily one of the duo's greatest songs. The theme song from the old show I Dream of Jennie is sampled throughout the song, mainly between the verses, and gives it a playful feel. This is also a perfect song to sing along with your friends in a car, as there are many personalities within it. The sequel to this song, "Guys Ain't Nothing But Trouble" is about a girl who heard the song and wanted to fire back all the things that Will said about women and prove him wrong. Now this track is different, because it features a girl rapping instead of Will. It has the same feel and samples as "Girls" does, but it is more softer and not as exciting. The album could of been just as great without it.
Will's ability to tell a story through songs is amazing. Using simple rhymes and great scenarios, he creates an essence that isn't around these days. In fact, the only other rapper that I acutally listen to the story within the song is Eminem. In "Just One Of Those Days" he tells you about everyday struggles a man goes through, but in a light hearted, funny way. And with songs like "Just Rockin'" he shows a more harsh sounding side from his voice to the listener, exclaiming that he is a time-ticking bomb waiting to explode. The thing that's great about the duo's songs is that they are perfect length, as you will be able to finish listening to each song without getting bored.
Jeff Townes is one of rap's most respected DJ's, inventing a style called transforming. You really get to hear his amazing skills in songs like "The Magnificent Jazzy Jeff", where Will is rapping about how Jeff is the best, and gives him some time to show off. And you really get to listen to Townes's talent in "A Touch of Jazz" which is an instrumental of him showing what he can do on the board for 3 minutes. If you haven't noticed already, the man knows how to scratch a record. And as the title includes, you really hear a lot of Jazz samples, featuring trumpets and soft male vocal samples. Jeff also knows how to give an intro to Will's raps, such as in "Just Rocking" where he enters in with some sick scratches, and the amazing "Don't Even Try It" where he samples a sick bass line that goes throughout the whole song, accompanied by some of Will's best lines. Now the one thing that is different about this album than the rest is that it features Clarence Holmes (Ready Rock C) beat boxing in some of the songs. He is mainly featured in the title track "Rock the House" where he is beat boxing and rapping by Will's side, and he is pretty good at both I must say. "Rock the House" is really the only song where he gets to shine though, as in the others he only is only featured for a few seconds. It would of been nice to hear him more through the album.
"Rock the House" isn't their best, but it is still an amazing record by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. The thing that is great about this album is that it's not to long, where as each song clocks in about 4 - 5 minutes, and theres only 10 songs, with one being an outro. Following this is "He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper" which is the duo's most popular and successful album to date, but this is almost nearly as good as that, being a great album by the duo. If you are looking to get into the two, "Rock the House" is a great place to start.
Recommended Tracks -
1. Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble
2. Rock the House
3. The Magnificent Jazzy Jeff
4. Just One of Those Days