When most of us think of Will Smith, we think of the prominent movie star. However, Smith started his career in music under the stage name the Fresh Prince.
Since then, he’s released many dance-worthy songs. While there are too many to list, here are the best Will Smith songs.
1. “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” by Will Smith
Song year: 1997
Perhaps Will Smith’s most famous song, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” is a song about dancing at the club. While this song might seem comical to modern listeners, it was pretty hip at the time of release.
The term “jiggy” refers to being stylish and trendy. In this song, it refers to Smith’s moves on the dance floor. Some have argued that “gettin’ jiggy” also refers to sexual moves since some of the lyrics regarding women are a little racy.
No matter the meaning behind the term, this Grammy winner for Best Rap Solo Performance will have you getting jiggy.
2. “Miami” by Will Smith
Song year: 1997
This song is all about the diversity of, you guessed it, Miami. Smith is singing particularly about the South Beach area of Miami, where he notes all the different nationalities, cultures, and economic classes.
The lyrics note that if you’re rich or, better yet, a celebrity, you’ll be treated differently and have a better time, being invited to private parties and onto yachts.
Despite the preferential treatment of celebrities and the rich that Smith notes, this song is a tribute to the Miami lifestyle. Smith, a Philadelphia native, loves the city so much that he refers to it as his second home.
3. “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Song year: 1991
One of Smith’s earlier songs, when he went by the Fresh Prince, is a nostalgic song about summers spent in his hometown, Philadelphia. The lyrics relate to the pleasure of breaking the monotony of the year and getting time to unwind.
This song won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group but was surrounded by some controversy. Public Enemy, another rapper, was also nominated for the award but lost. This caused him to boycott the Grammys, stating they did not celebrate inner-city contributions.
Regardless, Smith and his partner DJ Jazzy Jeff enjoyed more than five minutes of fame with this song. It resurged on the UK Top 40 chart in 2013, proving that tunes about the joys of summer are timeless.
4. “Parents Just Don’t Understand” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Song year: 1988
This song was written in a comical way to appeal to the younger generation and marks Smith’s first hit song in collaboration with his partner, DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jeff Townes).
In the song, a 16-year-old boy tells the woes of growing up with parents who buy him unfashionable clothes and have the audacity to punish him when he takes their Porsche out for a joyride. But, as he says, they just don’t understand.
In 1988, rap music began to become popular but hadn’t quite hit its peak. Nevertheless, Smith and Townes managed to fill the gap between gangster rap and pop music by making this song radio-friendly.
5. “Wild Wild West” by Will Smith ft. Dru Hill, Kool Mo Dee
Song year: 1999
Smith made this song for the film Wild Wild West, in which he stars alongside Salma Hayek and Kenneth Branagh. Smith’s character, Jim West, is on a mission to find the man responsible for killing his parents. The lyrics revolve around Jim West and his gun-toting ways, making it clear he is a man you don’t want to mess with.
While the song may be popular, the movie didn’t achieve such acclaim. Smith has said that this is the film that he most regrets working on.
6. “Men In Black” by Will Smith
Song year: 1997
While “Parent’s Just Don’t Understand” was Smith’s first collaboration hit, “Men In Black” was his first solo hit. This is another song written for a movie, Men in Black, in which Smith starred as Agent J alongside Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K.
Again, the lyrics are largely based on the movie’s plot. They tell the story of—spoiler alert—
the “good guys” in black guarding the world against extraterrestrial beings while erasing the memories of those who have encountered the aliens.
This song won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance and topped the UK and US charts for four weeks.
7. “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Song year: 1990
How would this be a list of the best Will Smith songs without mentioning “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air”? Most of us can sing this song word-for-word—a testament to its popularity.
This is yet another song written for the screen, but this time for television, not film. It was written for the show of the same name, in which Smith stars in a semi-biographical role as a young man from Philadelphia sent by his mother to live in Bel-Air in hopes of setting him straight.
Surprisingly, you won’t find this song on any greatest hits album because it was never released as a single. Still, you can find this on most music platforms as one of Smith’s most listened-to songs.
8. “Switch” by Will Smith
Song year: 2005
If you think most Will Smith songs are generally kid-friendly, this one will change your mind. The term “switch” refers to a dance move. The song is set in a club where provocatively dressed women are doing the “switch.” He makes sure to note he doesn’t want to touch them, but he sure enjoys watching.
Disregarding the questionable lyrics, we must admit this is a catchy song, and the world seems to agree. It topped the Australian Singles Chart, reached number seven on the US Billboard 100, and landed within the top ten on several charts worldwide.
9. “Prince Ali” by Will Smith
Song year: 2019
While not written by Smith, this song is still one of the most listened to on music platforms. Smith sang this song for the 2019 remake of Aladdin, in which he stars as Mariner the genie.
Disney fans might remember this song better in its 1992 version from the original Aladdin, sung by Robin Williams, who also voiced Marier. While no one can compete with Williams, Smith makes a strong contender.
10. “Just The Two Of Us” by Will Smith
Song year: 1998
This is one of Smith’s more sentimental songs. It was inspired by Bill Withers’ and Grover Washington, Jr.’s song of the same name.
The rap section of the song was written about his first child, Trey, following Smith’s divorce from his first wife, Trey’s mother. The lyrics revolve around Smith wondering if he can be a good enough father to his son, especially after the divorce, hence the song's name.
This rendition of the song stole the hearts of many and charted in the US, UK, Iceland, Ireland, and New Zealand.
11. “Will 2K” by Will Smith ft. K-Ci
Song year: 1999
Remember the excitement and panic surrounding Y2K? Released in November 1999, this song captures the feelings of many about the upcoming millennium.
Smith acknowledges that nobody knows what will happen when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve—perhaps chaos will erupt in the streets. However, Smith focuses more on the celebratory aspect of the night, stating that no matter what happens, the party must go on.
While this song wasn’t a massive hit in the US, it charted in the top five in Canada, Australia, and the UK.
12. “Freakin’ It” by Will Smith
Song year: 2000
This is another song that didn’t do very well in the US but took the number two spot in Belgium and came in the top 20 in the UK.
In this song, Smith repeats that he’s about to “freak this.” While it’s never made clear what “freaking” something may be, the nods to his latest accomplishments incline us to think he’s ramping up for a great success.
This theory gains credence when considering he was in the process of filming Ali, in which he starred as heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. The film, released in 2001, saw Smith nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
13. “Party Starter” by Will Smith
Song year: 2005
A classic party anthem, this song doesn’t have too much depth. The meaning behind this song is in the title—Smith believes his music is a party starter. He encourages people to ask the DJ to play this song to get everyone on the dance floor.
Perhaps a tad narcissistic, as this song only charted in the top five in Belgium and didn’t chart in the US at all. This song makes the list of best Will Smith songs only because it marks his final single before he took a 12-year break from making music.
14. “Friend Like Me” by Will Smith
Song year: 2019
Another song taken from the film Aladdin, this one breaks away from Smith’s sound in a pretty big way. It’s far from a rap or hip-hop song with its big band vibes.
Since it was featured in the movie, it’s a song about Marnier and his relationship with Aladdin. He can offer anything Aladdin asks for, leading him to proclaim Aladdin has never had a friend like Marnier.
Fans seem to like this side of Smith, as the song features in his most listened to song on most music platforms, and the video has been viewed a hundred million more times than the original by Robin Williams.
15. “Live It Up” by Nicky Jam ft. Will Smith and Era Istroffi
Song year: 2018
While not a true Will Smith song per se, Smith features in this song that made a name for itself as the official song of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
It’s easy to see why FIFA chose this song—it’s a pump-up song if we’ve ever heard one. Its lyrics speak to the idea of living life to the fullest since we only live once.
However, the lyrics, as well as the overall reggaeton sound, were heavily criticized. FIFA fans thought the message was too generic, and the music style didn’t fit with Russian culture. That said, listeners still love the feeling this song evokes.
Top Will Smith Songs, Final Thoughts
Will Smith has enjoyed a successful career as both an actor and musician and appeals to varied audiences worldwide.
From rap to hip hop, satire, and big band, everyone will find a song they love on this list of best Will Smith songs.