Wild Wild West

Album: Wild Wild West (1999)
Charted: 2 1
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  • This was written for the 1999 movie Wild Wild West, a big-budget production starring Will Smith, Salma Hayek and Kenneth Branagh. In the film, Smith plays Jim West, a dashing cowboy secret service agent in an enchanted version of the Old West. The movie is based on the TV series of the same name that ran from 1965-1969 with Robert Conrad in the title role.

    The lyrics are mostly about how Jim West isn't a man to be messed with. There are some allusions to the plot, including some references to the villain, Arliss Loveless.

    The movie made almost $50 million its opening weekend but dropped off quickly when word got out about how bad it was. Smith has cited it as the film he most regrets working on.
  • Just as the movie is based on an existing franchise, the song is built from the bones of Stevie Wonder's 1976 hit "I Wish," and Kool Moe Dee's 1987 track "Wild Wild West." Wonder's song supplies the perky rhythm that plays throughout. Kool Moe Dee's song lends the hook, and also the line "Break out, before you get bum-rushed."

    Both artist got onboard, with Wonder appearing in the video and Kool Moe Dee featuring on the track, recording new sections so his song didn't need to be sampled. He also appears in the video.
  • Will Smith had pulled off another big movie/song combo in 1997 with Men In Black, in which he starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones as terrestrial alien fighters. That film was a box-office smash, and "Smith's title track" was a #1 hit.

    The movie was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, who also directed Wild Wild West and was integral on getting Smith on board.
  • The R&B group Dru Hill sing on this track, with their lead vocalist Sisqó doing the post chorus in the vocal melody of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish." While Wonder sang:

    I wish those days could come back once more

    Sisqó sings:

    We going straight to the Wild Wild West

    Sisqó had a big hit the following year with "Thong Song."
  • The song was released about a month ahead of the film, which opened on July 4, 1999. While the film tanked, the song picked up steam, reaching #1 in the US on July 24.
  • The music video, directed by Paul Hunter, featured the stars of the movie playing their characters. The extended version runs 7 minutes.
  • Robert Fusari produced this track and is credited as a songwriter along with Will Smith, Kool Moe Dee and Stevie Wonder. Fusari, who had a hand in the Destiny's Child hit "No, No, No," came up with about 12 tracks, all based on samples because that's what Smith favored - his big hits like "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" and "Miami" all relied heavily on samples. Smith chose the Stevie Wonder-based track, and suggested Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee as guests. Using Wonder's song was costly, but a sure bet. In 1995, Coolio scored a huge hit with "Gangsta's Paradise," based on Wonder's song "Pastime Paradise."
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff did the record scratching. He and Smith were a team in the late '80s; Smith became a successful actor and Jazzy Jeff did very well as a record producer.

Comments: 3

  • Donald from Seattle, WashingtonThis song was referenced in Sacha Baron Cohen's "Who is America", when his character Nira Cain N'Degeocello (what a name) was interviewing a rapper and conservative Southern politician and talking total nonsense the whole time. Hilarious, a must-watch.
  • Chris from Kansas City, MoThe escape club also released a song titled Wild wild west in the late 80's on Atlantic Records flip side was we can run.
  • Caitlin from Upper Township, NjI danced to this song for jazz dance one year. it was fun because the dance has a fun beat
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