The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has been off the air since 1996 – long before Will Smith’s hair-whipping daughter Willow was even conceived – but its iconic theme song lives on.
Yesterday, we showed you a bluesy cover of the karaoke classic, but that viral video is far from the first (or last) reinvention of Smith’s classic verse. We’ve wrangled up five of YouTube’s best covers, so, just sit right there…
If Ingrid Michelson lent her mellow sound to the Bel-Air anthem (oh wait – she has) you’d have Kay Pettigrew’s cover. Pettigrew takes “chillin’ out” and “relaxin'” quite literally, slowly strumming through the tune. The end result? A cover fit for a Grey’s Anatomy episode. Cue Meredith.
Both a mashup and a cover, this may be the closest we ever get to DJ Jazzy Jeff starring in a Bollywood musical. Australian artist L-Fresh the Lion mixes the theme song with Panjabi MC’s “Beware (feat Jay-Z)” – a tune we never even knew we needed.
Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon actually has fairly decent vocal chops, but he’s at his best when imitating music icons performing tunes that they’d never be caught dead singing. Case in point: we doubt that the “Heart of Gold” singer even knows that the ’90s sitcom exists, but Fallon’s harmonica-infused take on the song (as Young) leaves us wondering what it’d be like to see the “Old Man” shootin’ some b-ball.
Honorable Mention: Fallon’s fuller tribute to the Fresh Prince theme from this past February.
Fire up this Ryan & The Rumours cover, and close your eyes – you’ll think you’re listening to yet another cover by Ed Sheeran. But lest, there’s not a soulful ginger crooning “‘Yo, holmes to Bel Air” on screen, but instead a dapper blonde Brit. Ryan’s pop band rendition employs two guitars, and would absolutely be at home on a The Script album.
A capella is all the rage, mainly thanks to a powerhouse comedy film and a lying Aussie. Despite its mainstream assimilation, however, the instrument free music style remains incredibly impressive. And what better song for a stripped down, beatbox-heavy cover than the Fresh Prince theme? Come for The Warp Zone remix, stay for the sick Hot Wheels t-shirt.