Will Smith‘s return to the music world will be much more than a cameo, as the actor revealed on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show that the Fresh Prince will stage a full-blown musical comeback in 2016. Smith dropped his first verse in over a decade when he appeared on Bomba Estereo’s “Fiesta” remix, and the actor announced that he has more than 30 newly recorded songs – “six or seven that I really, really like, that I’m trying to get the ideas to come out right,” Smith said – in the works. “I’m shaking the rust off, knocking the dust off,” he told Lowe.
Smith later hinted that he’s “pretty certain” the he’ll embark on his first world tour in the summer of 2016, and if the trek does happen, his cohort DJ Jazzy Jeff will be accompanying him on the road. “I’m terrified,” Smith admitted.
Next year won’t only see the resumption of Smith’s music career: The actor also revealed that Bad Boys 3, the new installment in his buddy cop franchise with Martin Lawrence, should arrive “within the next 12 to 16 months.” That’s on top of his Christmas-bound football drama Concussion and his supporting role as Deadshot in the supervillain saga Suicide Squad.
Smith recognized how much hip-hop has changed since he and Jazzy Jeff released He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper in 1988 – “I’m from the era of 16 bars, hook, 16 bars, hook, bridge, hook, out,” Smith said – but the 47-year-old says he’s back in the studio on a daily basis honing his craft. “I’m definitely interested in pushing the envelope of spittin’—how far can you go? I’ma keep giving it a shot up until I’m 70 or 80 years old,” Smith said. “I’m just trying to still find that voice; I have so many things that I wanna say. I’m struggling with saying ’em in a way that fit the flavor of music that I tend to like.”
Smith also talked about the anxiety he felt when laying down the Bomba Estereo verse, knowing that people would hear him rapping again for the first time in a decade. “When you’ve had a certain amount of success, it seems like it should breed confidence. But it actually doesn’t,” Smith admitted. “It’s the craziest thing; it’s like when you win a lot and you lose the ability to lose, you’re not allowed to lose anymore. You actually lose the ability to create; the reckless abandon. And it’s something I’m getting back from watching my kids — they really don’t care. That kind of reckless abandon and that lack of fear and not trying to protect anything and not trying to live up to a legacy or anything like that gives you freedom. … Fear is the killer of creativity, man.”
Smith admitted that he’s preparing for possible disappointment in his return to music – or “failing forward,” as he called it – and that the sci-fi bomb After Earth, co-starring his son Jaden Smith, was the first time he really experienced failure. To move past the M. Night Shyamalan dud, Smith hit the treadmill and tried skydiving in order to regain his confidence. “If you’re not willing to fall on your face, you can’t create at a high level,” he said.
As for the “insane” Suicide Squad, which co-stars Jared Leto as the Joker, Smith revealed that, despite working side-by-side next to the actor for six months, the two had never exchanged small talk or pleasantries throughout the entire film shoot. “We’ve never exchanged a word outside of ‘Action’ and ‘Cut,'” Smith said. “I literally have not met him yet … He was all-in on the Joker … I’m looking forward to meeting him.”