October 18, 2017
Being homers, we tried last month to get on board with Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff's new single, first performed live for their mini-reunion in Europe:
In a Facebook post, the 48-year-old actor introduced "Get Lit," an EDM track with an intensity and structure we haven't really heard in Smith's more lush discography without DJ Jazzy Jeff. This feels a lot more like their collaboration of the old days, but without the same hip-hop lite vibe.
Translation: At least they're having fun!
Credit where it's always due, this is the same duo who won a Grammy in 1991 for "Summertime." And while DJ Jazzy Jeff remains more than a novelty act, Smith is clearly out of the loop with music these days.
Critics have just been merciless in their takedowns of "Get Lit," Smith's first musical output since 2005.
First things first, here's the track. Listen to it yourself. Let it sink in.
And now here's what reviewers are saying about it.
GQ/Deadspin's Drew Magary goes full dad on Smith:
You know it’s bad if I, a dad, think something is too dad-like. Was this mixed inside a tractor engine? Join us next week when Will drops his next three songs, “Woke AF,” “YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS,” and “[prayer emoji]”.
Uproxx's Derrick Rossignol reminds us that time has, in fact, elapsed since Smith's "Fresh Prince" days:
It was endearing when Smith rapped about how parents just don’t understand in 1988, but in 2017, hearing a 48-year-old talk about getting “lit” comes off as a Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids?” moment.
Randall Colburn at Consequence of Sound says Smith killed the word "lit":
It’s official. “Lit” is no more. Not when old man Will Smith is building s----y, deafening EDM songs around the millennial buzzword ... We’d rather watch Collateral Beauty again than listen to this thing.
(Should he have tried going with "Get Lampin'"? Even Larry David's up on that).
Anthony Fantano at The Needle Drop:
[Laughs] It is the rapper's first, I believe, foray into EDM, which is odd because EDM is not necessarily the biggest, hottest thing right now. Will Smith essentially hops on an EDM instrumental, hints toward a bit of a fake patois here and there, and uh, the lyrics are awful, the beat is obnoxious, and you know what? If you want to have a good laugh, then give this thing a listen and I guarantee you will at least walk away with a chuckle.
Alex McLevy at AV Club:
The song itself is deeply forgettable, the kind of thing LMFAO would’ve heard and thought, “Eesh, I dunno, do you have anything more cerebral?” ... You give him points for trying, but really, everyone just wants to post a few Instagram pics and then go home.
Noisey says Smith's midlife crisis is officially here:
What we have is just a man flailing needlessly against the riptide of time. That, or he doesn't really care about the youth and just decided to make "Get Lit" for s---- and giggles. Maybe we're the ones who truly don't understand the parents.
And finally, Frank Guan at Vulture finds the whole thing absurd:
The total absurdity of “Get Lit” renders it not only hilarious, but, in a way, the most profound music Will Smith has ever made. Its vacancy is so pure that it verges on the existential, the mystical — perhaps even the divine, for only a god could be capable of such perfect lack of meaning. It’s easy enough to wish, in the wake of Will Smith’s return to music, that he return, as soon as possible, to not making music. But in truth, we should hope for even more music like “Get Lit,” a song that teaches listeners to laugh at the abyss until our vision of the world begins to change.
Don't worry, Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff say they're sitting on a solid 30 tracks of new material.
Nothing but love for Smith, but he better hope that Netflix movie "Bright" isn't so dim.