Boom! Shake the Room

Album: Code Red (1993)
Charted: 1 13


  • By 1993, gangsta rap was the big trend in hip-hop. This is a very PG song, with no guns or overt sex, but compared to the duo's previous hits ("Parents Just Don't Understand," "Summertime"), it's straight nasty, with Will Smith - still known as The Fresh Prince - getting bragadocious and telling some girl that he's going to turn her around and "work that booty." Aggressive stuff, and not real believable coming from the wholesome Smith. And while other rappers who turned suddenly Gangsta in the '90s (Kriss Kross, MC Hammer) saw their careers implode, Smith didn't need to keep rapping, since he had a solid acting career. This was the last single he released with DJ Jazzy Jeff, and four years later, when he resumed his rap career under his real name, he apparently learned his lesson, as he stopped posturing and focused his lyrical content on having fun and promoting his movies. Huge hits followed, including his first single "Men In Black" in 1997 and "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" the next year.
  • This samples "Funky Worm," which was a #15 US hit released in 1972 by the Ohio Players. DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jeff Townes) is a very well respected DJ who created the tracks and worked the samples for the duo.
  • This is a rare rap song with some stuttering, which Smith uses to demonstrate how he conquers his fear to rule the microphone.

Comments: 1

  • Eric from Beaverton, OrIt says some of the lyrics of this song weren't very believable coming from Will Smith. I think his song "You Saw My Blinker" is worse, and seems too out of character for Will Smith.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Joe Jackson

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

Amanda Palmer

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino EditionMusic Quiz

Whether he's splitting ears or burning Nazis, Quentin Tarantino uses memorable music in his films. See if you can match the song to the scene.

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-Outs

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-OutsSong Writing

The 10 biggest "retirement tours" that didn't take.

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New Words

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New WordsSong Writing

Do you remember the first time you heard "email" in a song? How about "hater" or "Facebook"? Here are the songs where they first showed up.