The Fresh Prince (b. Will Smith, 25 September 1968, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) is just as famous for being the star of television series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, wherein he plays a street-wise tough who suffers culture shock when transplanted into an affluent Beverley Hills' household. However, this is very much a second career for Smith. Together with DJ Jazzy Jeff (b. Jeffrey Townes, 22 January 1965, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA), this young duo had already cut a highly successful debut album. Smith actually got the show because of the airing of his raps on MTV. Musically the duo operate in familiar territory, working a variety of inoffensive, borrowed styles to quite good effect. Jazzy Jeff started DJing in the mid-70s when he was a mere 10 years old, (though he is not to be confused with the similarly-titled Jazzy Jeff who cut an album, also for Jive, in 1985). He was frequently referred to in those early days as the ‘bathroom’ DJ, because, hanging out with better-known elders, he would only be allowed to spin the decks when they took a toilet break. He met the Fresh Prince at a party, the two securing a recording deal after entering the 1986 New Music Seminar, where Jeff won the coveted Battle Of The Deejays. Embarking on a recording career, the obligatory James Brown lifts were placed next to steals from cartoon characters like Buggs Bunny, which gave some indication of their debut album's scope. In the late '80s they cemented their reputation with million-selling teen anthems like Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble, which sampled the I Dream Of Jeannie theme, and was released three weeks before Smith graduated from high school. They became the first rap act to receive a Grammy Award for their second long player's Parents Just Don't Understand, even though the ceremony was boycotted by most of the prominent hip hop crews because it wasn't slated to be ‘screened’ as part of the television transmission. In its wake the duo launched the world's first pop star 900 number (the pay-phone equivalent of the UK's 0898 system). By January 1989 3 million calls had been logged. HE'S THE DJ, I'M THE RAPPER contained more accessible pop fare, the sample of Nightmare On Elm Street being the closest they come to street-level hip hop. The raps were made interesting, however, by the Prince's appropriation of a variety of personas. This is doubtless what encouraged the television bosses to make him an offer he couldn't refuse, and The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air's enormous success has certainly augmented his profile (he also moved on to dramatic film roles, beginning with Six Degrees Of Separation). Jeff , meanwhile, has formed A Touch Of Jazz Inc, a stable of producers working on rap/R&B projects. The duo picked up a second Grammy for Summertime in 1991, before scoring a shock UK number 1 in 1993 with Boom! Shake The Room, the first rap record (Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer aside) to top the British singles chart.