Will Smith aka “The Fresh Prince”, has publicly acknowledged that he was attempting to sound like Rakim on his 1991 smash hit “Summertime” when both of the legends attended CBS’ Grammy Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop. While backstage, Smith told the R that he was purposely trying to mimic his style for the classic summer tune.

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“I was absolutely trying to sound like you on ‘Summertime,'” Will admitted, garnering a grin from the 55-year-old living legend. He went on, “Because I had been screaming all night, and I couldn’t get my happy-go-lucky high voice. And [producer] Hula just said, ‘Yo, just gimme that Rakim s***.'”

Rakim said that “Summertime” was a track that was supposed to be included on their debut album, but timing kept the song off of the Eric B. and Rakim’s epic LP Paid In Full.


The clip of the Rakim/Will Smith interaction can also be seen on a seven-minute, behind-the-scenes special of the CBS presentation on YouTube.

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