The Hip-Hop pioneer and actor Will Smith announced that the launch of a new podcast titled Class of ’88, last Thursday (Sept. 21). The podcast will explore rap music during 1988, a year which saw the ascension of Public Enemy as well as the growth of DJ Jazzy & The Fresh Prince along with the rise of women rappers such as Queen Latifah and Salt-N-Pepa.
In the trailer, Smith begins: “Today, Hip-Hop dominates pop culture but it wasn’t always like that. Before 1988, people saw our music as a passing fad.” The eight-episode series will have Smith sit down and talk with Queen Latifah, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels, his bandmate DJ Jazzy Jeff, Rakim and Salt-N-Pepa.
Class of ’88 is produced by Audible along with Smith’s Westbrook production company. The podcast network Wondery as well as podcast production company Awfully Nice are also involved in the making of the series.
The focus of the series is notable, as 1988 was the year that Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff became renowned on the scene with their chart-topping song “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” The track from their second album He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper would earn them a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance. The duo were not on hand to receive the award as they took part in a boycott of the Grammys along with other rap artists due to the inaugural performance not being televised.
“Hip-hop has been a central part of my life for over four decades,” Smith said when contacted by 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.”
Class of ’88 will be available to listeners on Audible and Amazon Music beginning October 26. Amazon Prime members can also stream the podcast without ads. Check out the trailer above.