Today In Hip-Hop | The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Debut


We all hear the stories of streetwise kids going from rags to riches. It's in the music, the media and generally, that is all filtered through television. That's probably why today, on September 10, 1990 - just like Will Smith playing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - lives got flipped upside down.

For it was this day when an incredibly relevant piece of hip-hop culture aired nationally on America's NBC network; the first prime time sitcom to star a rapper. That's right, and the stage was thus set for a young Will Smith to capture hearts and minds of young teens - black and white - through comedy.

The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air details a young black man from West Philedelphia, who is sent to live with his wealthy Aunt and Uncle in their mansion in Bel-Air, Los Angeles. The plot follows Will Smith as the main character, as he navigates through the tricky and often quirky social hurdles that are put in front of him in an affluent and sheltered environment occupied by his relatives in the West LA district.

The series didn't get all the love though. Will Smith was first criticised for starring in a show based around himself, and then further ridiculed by those who thought the show was a desperate attempt to make money after Will's rap career had fizzled out. On the other hand, it was up there with one of the longest running sitcoms at the time, lasting approximately six years. If anything, it conceptualised Will Smith in a way that other young people from poorer neighbourhoods could relate to. The slang was street, the clothes were so '90s in the dopest way possible, and above all, it had its fair share of funny moments.

Not only did it put Smith and his co-stars on a lucrative international stage, but it took hip-hop culture in a slightly watered down fashion, and showed people that it wasn't all ghetto and straightforward as they might have once thought - but still kept it real.

Jump into the time capsule today, you won't regret it. 





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