Jeff Townes and Will Smith met at a party in Philadelphia in the mid-'80s and landed a recording contract after the 1986 New Music Seminar, at which Jeff won the Battle of the DJs. The following year, the ever-humorous duo's first single, "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble," was released on Pop Art Records. Their debut album, Rock the House, followed soon after. Smith, by then known as the Fresh Prince, abandoned his plans to attend college at MIT.
"Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble" was a hit and won Jeff and Prince a large crossover audience previously untapped by rappers; Rock the House was certified gold in 1988. Their follow-up, He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper, took them to even greater commercial heights. The album went on to sell 2.5 million copies, and its first single, "Parents Just Don't Understand," netted the duo a Grammy award.
Their next two albums, 1989's And in This Corner and 1991's Homebase, went gold and platinum respectively. Jeff and Prince also won a second Grammy in 1991 for the single "Summertime."
The duo split after releasing Code Red in 1993. Since then, Smith has spread out to television and film. He starred in the early '90s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (in which Townes had a recurring role), and blockbuster films such as Independence Day and Men in Black, as well as putting out a platinum solo album "Big Willy Style." Besides dropping the occasional mix-tape, Jeff has formed Touch of Jazz, Inc., a group of producers dedicated to rap and hip-hop projects. Jive Records put out a DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince greatest hits LP in '98.