The Lonely Island aren’t known for their cover songs, but they made an exception this weekend to honor the musical career of a musician whose influence directly led to their success: Will Smith.
Smith received MTV’s lifetime achievement-esque “Generation” award at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday night. He was awarded, one would assume, for making some of the only TV and film themes deemed acceptable to sing at karaoke, and for being the first hip-hop artist to achieve true crossover success as a musician and an actor. To honor Smith’s music career, The Lonely Island performed a medley of Smith’s biggest hits.
The musical montage spanned Smith’s whole career, from “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” “Summertime” and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme to The Men in Black theme and “Getting Jiggy with It.” (No, they didn’t play anything from Willennium.)
Later, when Smith received the award, he called the popcorn-shaped hardware the “code for the ‘old-ass dude award.'” On the one hand, Smith has been making music for close to 30 years, so yeah, I guess it is. On the other, there are a lot of people who can still recite The Fresh Prince theme from memory, so it’s not like anyone minds.