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DJ Jazzy Jeff

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Biography

Jeffrey A. Townes (born January 22, 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), also known as DJ Jazzy Jeff, is an American hip hop and R&B record producer and turntablist. He is best known for his early career with Will Smith as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. DJ Jazzy Jeff graduated from John Bartram High School in Philadelphia where he is enshrined in the school’s “Wall of Fame”.

History

When he was growing up, he found that listening to his parents was unbearable. He got a job as a newspaper boy at age 7 to support his family. Once he grew up, he developed a reputation and following as a school and block party DJ extraordinaire, Jazzy Jeff was the feature of the duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. As a duo, they had several gold and platinum-selling albums and singles in the late 1980s and early 1990s, earning them the first rap Grammy ever presented in 1989 for Parents Just Don’t Understand. When Smith branched out into television with the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Jazzy Jeff played a recurring character named “Jazz”, Smith’s best friend on the show. The two characters always greeted each other with their signature handshake (swinging mid-five, point-back/snap with both characters saying “Pssh!”).

Jazz’ trademarks include being physically ejected from the house by Uncle Phil (James Avery), screaming as he went flying out the front door. This was referenced in the song “N.Y, N.Y.” by Lloyd Banks from his second album Rotten Apple, with the lyric “I throw a bitch out the crib like Jazzy Jeff”. [1]

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