Big Willie Style

by: Will Smith

Will Smith wisely decided not to change his style too much on Big Willie Style, the first record he released since becoming a major movie star with appearances in Independence Day and Men in Black. Instead of trying to toughen his image, Smith continued with the friendly, humorous pop-rap that has been his trademark since He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper. Of course, he gives the music a glossy modern sheen (ironically based on early-'80s funk) in order to prove that he's still hip -- and it works. Sure, there's filler scattered all the way the through the album, but the best moments -- the disco-thumping "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It," the Larry Blackmon duet "Candy," the ballad "I Loved You," and the riotous "Men in Black" -- rank among his best singles. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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