Old Skool Review: DJ Jazzy Jeff

Man alive, feels like i haven’t done one of these in forever and a day. Well, let’s fix that right now.

Sometimes, life simply isn’t fair. You’re the guy with all the talent, but it’s your partner that goes on to make it huge. Such seems to be the fate to have befallen DJ Jazzy Jeff, at least in comparison to his one-time partner, the Fresh Prince, Will Smith. Smith is the first to admit that if it wasn’t for Jeff, he never would have had the opportunity to shine on the big stage, but still, what the fuck, man?

Jeffrey Allen Townes has since gone on to become a fairly large producer, but let’s be honest, most folks know him as part of the aforementioned super duo that dropped classics like “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime,” as well as Smith’s partner in crime on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” If that’s all you know, however, you don’t know much. Jazzy is considered one of the top turntabilists of all times, largely considered the inventor of the transformer scratch. At least, that’s what both Wiki and my own turntable teacher tell me, and who are they to lie? Plus, oldboy won the world DJ championship at the 1986 New Music Seminar DJ Battle, so what more proof do you need?

Following Smith’s rise to international acting acclaim, Jeff went the producer route, championing such acts as fellow Philly natives Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild. He also founded A Touch of Jazz, his hometown-based production company.

For a guy who didn’t do quite as well as his one-time partner, homeboy has certainly remained busy. And goddamn if he can’t still cut it up like a ninja on crack.

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