Jazzy Jeff was born on January 22, 1965, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a DJ, actor, and comedian. Jeff worked solo and together with a project called Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. He is particularly known for his solo work The Return of the Magnificent and He Is a DJ, I’m A Rapper album with Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.
Even though Jazzy Jeff created several hits during his solo career, the recognition came to him as part of the duo with Will Smith. Jazzy (real name Jeffrey Townes) and Will met in 1986 at one of the local Philadelphia parties and decided to form a rap duo called Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. At that moment, Jazzy Jeff was already known as a great Philadelphia DJ. He created amazing tracks, a few of which even made it to the charts. Fresh Prince got his nickname for being able to create great rap ever since he was 12 years old.
Their debut single “Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble”, which was a mockery of the song “I Dream of Jeannie” and a comic music video that came with it, was very popular on MTV. The duo immediately got an army of fans.
In 1987, Jazzy and Smith released a debut album Rock The House, which was certified golden. The LP reached the 24th spot on Billboard R&B chart.
The duo managed to create their own hip-hop style that didn’t include any of the street defiant street attitude and politics. They used melodic lyrics and different forms of sketching called Transforming.
In 1988, the duo released an immensely popular LP He’s A DJ, I’m a Rapper, which was one of the first double albums in the rap history. The LP sold over 2.5 million copies. The single “Parents Just Don’t Understand” became platinum twice. Jazzy and Will were the first rappers who earned a Grammy for the “Best Rap Performance”.
In 1989, the duo took a break to reevaluate their performance due to the new course the hip-hop style was taking. Two years later, they came back with another hit album Homebase, which got them a Grammy. The single “Summertime” topped the charts.
In 1993, the band released their last LP Code Red, which was a failure. After disbanding, Jazzy opened a producing center A Touch of Jazz and started his career as a producer.
While working in the production business, Jazzy continues to record new music and performs live.