BET Hip Hop Awards 2023 - Show
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 03: In this image released on October 10, 2023, Fat Joe speaks onstage during the BET Hip Hop Awards 2023 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on October 03, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia

Fat Joe: 'I Really Tried To Get Will Smith To Perform At The BET Hip Hop Awards'

Fat Joe: 'I Really Tried To Get Will Smith To Perform At The BET Hip Hop Awards'

Published Wed, October 11, 2023 at 3:00 PM EDT

Fat Joe recently revealed to People that he "was trying really hard" to convince Will Smith to come out of retirement to perform at the 2023 BET Hip Hop Awards.

The "Lean Back" MC was the host and executive producer of the awards show, which was televised on Tuesday (10/10). Joe expressed only one regret about the show, and that was failing in his effort to secure Will Smith as a performer.

"You know who I didn't successfully get was Will Smith," he said. "I was really trying to get Will Smith to come out and do 'Summer Time.'" Joe attributed Smith's absence to a scheduling conflict.

"He's filming Bad Boys," Joe said speaking of the upcoming sequel with Martin Lawrence. "But we tried. We try to pull off a miracle if we can. We try to pull a cloud out of the sky."

Concerning his hosting duties, Joe said that he's always dreamed of such an honor. "Overall, it's a dream come true for me. It's the second year I'm doing the Hip Hop Awards, but I always think back to being in junior high and doing the talent shows and then Apollo Theater Amateur Night and it all leads to this. And so it's an honor for me."

In other Will Smith news, he is set to host a new Audible podcast about 1988, which some celebrate as Hip-Hop's most pivotal year. Smith will be the main voice for Class of ’88, which is an eight-episode series that will feature Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Queen Latifah, Run-D.M.C.’s Darryl McDaniels, Salt-N-Pepa, Rakim and Smith’s rap partner DJ Jazzy Jeff. The eight-episode series produced by Wondery, Audible, Westbrook and Awfully Nice will launch this month on Audible and Amazon Music.

“Hip-hop has been a central part of my life for over four decades,” Smith told Billboard. “I’m hyped to share my firsthand 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.”

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