"They bring up 24 butter knives and he proceeds to saw," DJ Jazzy Jeff recalls on the 'Class of '88' podcast
The King Richard actor, 55, recalled his early days making music with DJ Jazzy Jeff, 58, on his new Wondery and Audible podcast Class of '88, which included one time he had to play surgeon for his record producer friend.
In late 1987 they went to London in a hotel room working on their new album for Jive Records.
They were "under pressure" to get the record done "quickly."
"It had to be great. If we messed it up, we'd probably never get a chance to make another one," Smith said on the podcast. "It was a big question back then if rap could really make money for record companies."
But they had a "rough start."
"Right before we left for London, Jeff broke his leg in a car accident. So when we finally arrived in our hotel, Jeff was in a full-length cast from his hip to his ankle," Smith said, before Jeff interjected: "I probably should have gotten the cast off before we left to go make the album, but I didn't so I was way past due of this cast coming off to the point that the filling inside the cast started to irritate my kneecap — which is the reason Will kinda came up with this brilliant idea of 'I can get your cast off.'"
"I did think I could get it off," Smith laughed. "My basic mindset is always 'yes.' I don't see any value in saying 'no.' If somebody says, 'Will, can you fly this space shuttle?' Yes, of course. To me, that was a big part of my energy with us going out into the world and making music. It's like, why can't we do it as big as anybody's ever done it? The answer is 'yes.'"
Smith's "plan" was to "saw off Jeff's cast with knives from the hotel's room service."
"They bring up 24 butter knives and he proceeds to saw, and he kind of gets it to the point that the cast starts to split," Jeff recalled, before Smith interjected: "So, I had been sawing the cast from the top, which, I guess, isn't medically recommended, so the cast got stuck maybe halfway down Jeff's leg."
Jeff added: "And he says s--- to me like, 'What would MacGyver do?' And I'm like, dude, stop playin' like that because at this point I can't put pants on to go to the hospital to have them cut it off."
The Fresh Prince star told Jeff to get in the tub to "soften" up the cast with a few knives to get the cast off.
"It started to shrink, so now it's choking my leg. And it really didn't help that through the entire process, he's laughing," Jeff said. "And I'm freaking out. I'm wet, in my underwear, with a cast up to my ankle."
Things began to shift when who appears to be Jeremy “JL” Lam, a friend of friend of Jam Master Jay’s family, seemingly entered the picture.
"So JL came in, and JL's lookin', it's like 30 butter knives all over the floor, and you're in the tub with your cast on...it's like, 'What the f--- are you all doing?'" Smith laughed.
"He opened a beef stew can and the jagged edge — he was using the jagged edge of the can top and he went straight down, where I was trying to saw vertically, he went horizontally," Smith said of their cast-cutting process.
Seven minutes later, the cast was off.
"Luckily I didn't end up putting Jeff back in the hospital, which was helpful, because we had a lot of music to deliver — and fast," Smith said.
Class of '88 debuted on Friday and the show features conversations between Smith and his peers in the late ’80s hip-hop world, including his collaborator Jeff, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Rakim and Chuck D.
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