Will Smith Announces Hip-Hop Podcast, "Class Of '88"

Will Smith is set to dive into the pivotal year of 1988.

BYTallie Spencer
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Get ready for a trip down memory lane! Will Smith has enthusiastically joined the podcasting leagues, making the announcement today via Billboard. His upcoming podcast, titled Class of '88, is set to launch in October and spans eight episodes. The show is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant world of hip-hop in the year 1988, according to Smith. Produced in collaboration with Wondery, Audible, and Awfully Nice, the podcast will find its home on Amazon Music and Audible. Moreover, the podcast should be an immersive audio experience that takes listeners back to the iconic sounds and cultural moments of the 1988 era.

Undoubtedly, 1988 stands as a pivotal year in music history. And Will Smith is poised to be the storyteller of this iconic era. “Hip-hop has been a central part of my life for over four decades,” Smith told Billboard. “I’m hyped to share my first-hand experiences and those of some of hip-hop’s greatest legends as we delve into the origins of one of the most influential genres of music in history.” However, fans will also be able to hear interviews from some of the revolutionary artists from the era.

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Will Smith

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Actor Will Smith attends the Warner Bros. Pictures' "Focus" premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 24, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

However, in the broader trajectory of hip-hop's evolution, 1988 undeniably holds a special place. 1988 was a time characterized by the groundbreaking rise of talent. This includes the ascent of Public Enemy, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Also, the influential presence of female MCs such as Salt-N-Pepa and Queen Latifah. Moreover, 1988 was particularly significant for Smith himself. It marked the success of his own musical career with DJ Jazzy Jeff, crowned by their chart-topping hit "Parents Just Don't Understand." Additionally, it marked a transformative year across the spectrum of music, fashion, and film, birthing a new era that continues to resonate today.

Subsequently, the podcasts' description is available on the Audible site. Will Smith will deliver untold anecdotes mixed with his firsthand insights. "Through the unique perspective and personal experiences of Will Smith, Class of ’88 reveals the milestone moments, albums and artists that inspired a sonic evolution and secured 1988 as hip hop’s most important year," the description reads. "Rich with archival material, new interviews with hip-hop’s biggest stars, and personal recollections from Will himself, Class of ’88 delivers fresh untold stories from the year that hip hop overcame the forces that were hell bent on blocking its rise."

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About The Author
@TallieSpencer is a music journalist based in Los Angeles, CA. She loves concerts, festivals, and traveling the world.