12:15pm PT by Chris Payne, Billboard, Keith Caulfield, Billboard
Kanye West Is 'Pushing' Will Smith To Make New Music
Is Will Smith getting back into music? Maybe! According to an interview with HipHollywood.com, Smith said it's been none other than Kanye West who's been encouraging him to.
"I've been messing around with Kanye," Will Smith said during press activities for his upcoming film, After Earth, out May 31. "We went in the studio a couple times, so I might get the bug. I'm not going to do it unless I'm truly inspired, but Ye's been pushing me a little bit."
Last February, West and Smith were photographed in a recording studio together in Brazil. Though there's little reason to believe the Fresh Prince could appear on West's upcoming Yeezus, it appears a forthcoming collaboration isn't out of the question.
Smith's last studio album, Lost and Found, came out in 2005.
The rapper/actor has notched 16 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as a solo artist and with his former duo, D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. Those include a pair of No. 1s with Smith's "Getting' Jiggy Wit It" and "Wild Wild West." On the Pop Songs chart, Smith has claimed six top 10 entries, five of which were consecutive between 1997 and 1999. Smith's total solo album sales stand at 9.4 million in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. He released four studio albums between 1998 and 2005. His biggest selling album is 1998's Big Willie Style, having sold 6 million.
Another film co-starring Smith, a supernatural drama called Winter's Tale, will be released later this year.