Trackmasters Tell All: The Stories Behind Their Classic Records (Part 2)

Will Smith "Gettin' Jiggy wit It" (1998)

Album: Big Willie Style
Label: Sony

Poke: “Monster hit. That was bigger than ‘Men in Black.’”

Tone: "We did that album in 2 weeks.”

Poke: “I was at home we were trying to find records. So I call Will and I say, ‘I'm on my way I got it.’ He's like okay. So we get there, put the record on, and I started to do this dance move. Me and Will were doing [the ‘Getting Jiggy With It’ dance].

“I said, ‘Yo we gonna do it like this! You’re gonna do this in the video and we’re gonna call it ‘Getting jiggy.’ It’s gonna be jigged out, we’re gonna get jiggy with it.’ And Will was like, ‘Yeah! We’re gonna get jiggy with it! This shit is hot. Let’s do it,’ and he went in the booth.

 

The whole thing comes from a Brooklyn term, people would say, ‘Ni**as is jigged out.’ That’s what it is, so we got jiggy. That’s the premise of that record. That’s how we came up with the whole thing, just doing the dance. - Poke

 

“The whole thing comes from a Brooklyn term, people would say, ‘Niggas is jigged out.’ That’s what it is, so we got jiggy. That’s the premise of that record. That’s how we came up with the whole thing, just doing the dance.

“When you're making these records, you don’t think about that it’s gonna be this big of a thing. You're just making another record. It took a lot of conversations, planning, and back and forth of, ‘Which song is the single on this record?’ As we kept playing it, it took a week before we decided that this is the record that we're gonna go with.

“When it was at radio, we were having a slight problem because ‘Men and Black’ was still on fire. So if you're trying to get another record playing then you're battling against yourself, we were undercutting ourselves.

“And they were having issues and at black radio where ‘Getting Jiggy With It’ wasn’t working. It was like, ‘Nah, this ain’t gonna work.’ But ‘Men In Black’ was already Top 40. We were already eight million records sold with the Men in Black soundtrack when ‘Getting Jiggy With It’ came in. When it reached Top 40 radio, that’s when it started snapping and started moving up and everyone was like ‘Wow.’

“I remember someone coming to me and saying, ‘You know what’s going on with your record?’ and I was like, ‘Fuck you talking about?’ They were like, ‘Yo, this record is gone! You don’t even understand what’s happening right now.’ We had a certain amount of spins for one audience and this and that.

“Next thing you know, by the Christmas time the Men in Black album and the Big Willie Style were doing like 250,000 each. per week. It was crazy. It was like, ‘Get the fuck outta here. Who is this guy? What’s going on?’”

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