Will Smith Sadly Rejects Big Name Rapper

It has been noted that Fat Joe had his sights set on bringing the Fresh Prince out of retirement.



The “All the Way Up” rapper is set to make his comeback as host and executive producer of the BET Hip Hop Awards, airing Oct. 10 at 9 p.m. on BET. Ahead of the broadcast set to honor hip -hop’s 50th anniversary, the star says he only has one regret.

“You know who I didn’t successfully get was Will Smith,” Fat Joe, 53, tells PEOPLE of trying to convince the Academy Award winner, 55, to step back into his ’90s rap persona as the Fresh Prince for the show. “I was really trying to get Will Smith to come out and do ‘Summer Time.'”

The performance would have definitely been a surprise for hip-hop fans. It’s almost two years since Smith shocked the world at the Oscars abruptly taking the stage to slap Chris Rock ahead of winning the award for Best Actor.

The King Richard star has since apologized amid his 10-year ban from the Oscars. Earlier this year he made his first in-person awards show return at the African American Film Critics Association Awards in March.

Regarding the reason for the star who has largely been absent from this year’s 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop tributes despite his iconic rap beginnings — won’t make it to the BET show’s stage, there was apparently a scheduling conflict. “He’s filming Bad Boys,” Fat Joe says of Smith’s upcoming sequel with Martin Lawrence. “But we tried. We try to pull off a miracle if we can. We try to pull a cloud out of the sky.”

As for those who will be hitting the show’s Atlanta stage, the list includes Jermaine Dupri, LL Cool J, Offset, Da Brat, Grandmaster Flash and more. Host Fat Joe couldn’t be more excited to shine a light on those stars, as well as lesser known deejays and producers, like DJ Drama, whom he says never get their proper due.

“It’s going to be sick,” he says. “Overall it’s a dream come true for me. It’s the second year I’m doing the Hip Hop awards, but I always think back to being in junior high and doing the talent shows and then Apollo Theater Amateur Night and it all leads to this. And so it’s an honor for me.”

Outside of the music, Fat Joe wants fans to look out for his standout style. “I’m competing with the women now. The guys aren’t bringing their A-game anymore,” he says with a laugh. “So I’m getting super fly. I get to change eight times [during the show]. I’m all about my fashion.”

The BET Hip Hop Awards air Oct. 10 at 9 p.m. on BET.

Barry Russell
Barry Russell
A dedicated pro wrestling follower for more than a decade

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