The 2023 Grammys arguably made history with its star-studded hip hop tribute, which spanned a generation and was curated by Roots drummer Questlove. It also featured performances from Missy Elliott, Future and GloRilla.
Will Smith, meanwhile, was missing from the performance — but there’s a reason for that. According to Variety, he was originally slated to perform as a surprise but backed out due to scheduling conflicts.
He was reportedly asked to perform by Questlove
Will Smith was reportedly asked to perform in the 2023 Grammys hip hop tribute but backed out at the last minute, according to Variety. Roots drummer and bandleader Questlove, who was the music director for the tribute, told Variety that Smith was supposed to take part in the medley but he had to back out due to his production schedule of Bad Boys 4.
The tribute, which featured snippets from legendary hip hop acts like Run-DMC, Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J, narrated by Black Thought, jumped from early days of rap to modern times with songs from Queen Latifah and Nelly. New-school rappers Lil Baby and GloRilla also joined the celebration, which was produced by Questlove.
While the tribute itself was a major hit, many fans were disappointed that Questlove didn’t include their favorite hip-hop artists. The Roots drummer and bandleader revealed on Twitter that he was given a difficult task when putting together the performance. He also noted that two rappers who were expected to perform, Future and Lil Wayne, had to drop out at the last minute.
It’s hard to imagine that the infamous Oscars slap didn’t have anything to do with it.
He was slated to perform as a surprise
Will Smith was slated to perform as a surprise at the 2023 Grammys hip hop tribute, but had to back out of it due to scheduling conflicts. Questlove, the Roots drummer who curated the performance medley, revealed to Variety that the King Richard star was supposed to be a part of it but had to drop out because it supposedly coincided with filming for Bad Boys 4.
The Roots drummer pulled together a mind-blowing 14-minute tribute to hip hop history during Sunday’s Grammy Awards show and he reportedly tapped some famous rappers to participate. He aimed to showcase the breadth of the genre by pulling in artists from across the country and the world.
Some of the artists he curated included rappers like Nelly, Busta Rhymes and Grandmaster Flash. Others came from the East and West coast, including LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Ice T and Missy Elliott.
He was reportedly backed out of the performance due to scheduling conflicts
The Grammys recently threw a star-studded tribute to hip hop, which featured performances from many iconic artists. However, it was a surprise that one of the genre’s pioneers, will smith didn’t appear in the performance.
The actor, who was known as the Fresh Prince before cementing his place as a major mainstream rapper in the 1990s, was reportedly backed out of the performance due to scheduling conflicts. According to Questlove, the award-winning musician and record producer, trying to secure the actor for the 14-minute-long performance was “a shot in the dark,” as he is always shooting movies.
The rapper, who is best known for his role as Deadshot in the Bad Boys franchise, was slated to perform alongside Martin Lawrence, his co-star. But Smith reportedly decided not to join the performance, and Questlove shared why in an interview with Variety. He explained that the actor was unable to make it to the Grammys due to his production schedule for Bad Boys 4.
He was reportedly cut out of the performance
Will Smith reportedly wasn’t able to participate in the 2023 Grammys hip hop tribute, which celebrated 50 years of rap. The actor was supposed to perform as a surprise, but he was backed out due to scheduling conflicts.
According to Questlove, who directed the hip hop tribute, Will Smith backed out of the performance because it coincided with production on Bad Boys 4. The actor was slated to be a part of the hip hop celebration but he allegedly canceled because he didn’t have time for it.
The hip hop tribute was a crowd-pleasing event that celebrated the history of rap music. Several stars like Public Enemy, Run-DMC and Method Man were present at the ceremony.
It was a great moment for fans to watch, and it also prompted some questioning. However, if Will Smith backed out of the hip hop tribute, then this could be a major blow for him and his career.