A Season of Songs, day 17: Don’t Even Try It

Today’s song is Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Don’t Even Try It”  from their 1986 debut album “Rock the House”. 

Long before Will Smith became a big movie star and even before moving to Bel  Air, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince put out a couple really fun hip hop records. At the time that their single “Parents Don’t Understand” blew up, I was already into Run DMC, Beastie Boys and other hip hop, but Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince were special because they were from Philly. Even though I lived an hour north of the city, we always identified with Phily-related stuff, so it was nice to see a Philly rap group get some recognition. 

After the “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper” record got big, their debut album was re-released and that’s when I first heard it.  Both albums are pretty fun and have the goofy tracks that they are most known for but I think this first album actually shows off more of their actual talent. 

Fresh Prince has some great rhymes and raps with more proficiency than their early singles gave them credit for. Likewise, Jazzy Jeff’s DJ skills are given more opportunities to shine throughout the album.  Also, their beatboxer Ready Rock C shows off some talent too. All around a solid crew.  

“Don’t Even Try It” is a song about all the folks who dissed them when they were first starting out who started getting in touch once they started having success. From girls to record producers, Jazzy and the Fresh Prince tell everyone to step off. If you didn’t support them before, don’t even try pretending that you always been their friend. You’re not invited to the barbecue that starts at 4. 

My tape of this album went missing awhile back and I went some years without having access to these songs. I tracked down some mp3s of the album a couple years back and this is a great album to have back in rotation. The songs are of mixed quality but there are definitely some tracks with having in the collection.  


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