DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince “Parents Just Don’t Understand”

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince “Parents Just Don’t Understand”- Jeff Townes aka DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince met by chance in 1985 at a local house party. Jeff was performing in Will’s neighborhood and his hype man was missing.  Will filled in and the two immediately fed off of each other’s vibe.  They soon linked up and Will also brought his friend Clarence Holmes aka Ready Rock C along for his beatboxing skills.  Word Up Records helped them to drop their debut single “Girl’s Aint Nothing but Trouble” which used a sample from the well-known “I Dream of Jeannie” song.  They got the attention of Russell Simmons and Jive Records and assisted in releasing their first album “Rock the House” on March 19th 1987.  It was their sophomore album “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper” which dropped on March 29th 1988 which was the first double album in Hip Hop music history.  It was certified triple platinum and their most successful album to date.  The lead single “Parents Just Don’t Understand” dropped February 17th 1988 on 12” vinyl and earned them their first Grammy for a hip hop/rap song.  The video was just as funny as the lyrics and shows The Fresh Prince causing some havoc after his strict parents take him shopping for school clothes that are not cool or up to date.  The video blew up, playing on MTV almost every hour.  The song was also used in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  It peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

LYRICS

You know parents are the same no matter time nor place They don’t understand that us kids are gonna make some mistakes So to you, all the kids all across the land There’s no need to argue, parents just don’t understand I remember one year My mom took me school shopping It was me, my brother, my mom, oh, my pop, and my little sister All hopped in the car We headed downtown to the Gallery Mall MY mom started bugging with the clothes she chose I didn’t say nothing at first I just turned up my nose She said, “What’s wrong? This shirt cost $20” I said, “Mom, this shirt is plaid with a butterfly collar!” The next half hour was the same old thing My mother buying me clothes from 1963 And then she lost her mind and did the ultimate I asked her for Adidas and she bought me Zips! I said, “Mom, what are you doing, you’re ruining my rep” She said, “You’re only sixteen, you don’t have a rep yet” I said, “Mom, let’s put these clothes back, please” She said “no, you go to school to learn not for a fashion show” I said, “This isn’t Sha Na Na, come on Mom, I’m not Bowzer Mom, please put back the bell-bottom Brady Bunch trousers But if you don’t want to I can live with that but You gotta put back the double-knit reversible slacks” She wasn’t moved – everything stayed the same Inevitably the first day of school came I thought I could get over, I tried to play sick But my mom said, “No, no way, uh-uh, forget it” There was nothing I could do, I tried to relax I got dressed up in those ancient artifacts And when I walked into school, it was just as I thought The kids were cracking up laughing at the clothes Mom bought And those who weren’t laughing still had a ball Because they were pointing and whispering As I walked down the hall I got home and told my Mom how my day went She said, “If they were laughing you don’t need them, Cause they’re not good friends” For the next six hours I tried to explain to my Mom That I was gonna have to go through this about 200 more times So to you all the kids all across the land There’s no need to argue Parents just don’t understand Oh-kay, here’s the situation My parents went away on a week’s vacation and They left the keys to the brand new Porsche Would they mind? Umm, well, of course not I’ll just take it for a little spin And maybe show it off to a couple of friends I’ll just cruise it around the neighborhood Well, maybe I shouldn’t Yeah, of course I should Pay attention, here’s the thick of the plot I pulled up to the corner at the end of my block That’s when I saw this beautiful girlie girl walking I picked up my car phone to perpetrate like I was talking You should’ve seen this girl’s bodily dimensions I honked my horn just to get her attention She said, “Was that for me?” I said, “Yeah” She said, “Why?” I said, “Come on and take a ride with a helluva guy” She said, “How do I know you’re not sick? You could be some deranged lunatic” I said, “C’mon toots – my name is the Prince = Beside, would a lunatic have a Porsche like this?” She agreed and we were on our way She was looking very good and so was I, I must say – word We hit McDonald’s, pulled into the drive We ordered two Big Macs and two large fries with Cokes She kicked her shoes off onto the floor She said, “Drive fast, speed turns me on” She put her hand on my knee, I put my foot on the gas We almost got whiplash, I took off so fast The sun roof was open , the music was high And this girl’s hand was steadily moving up my thigh She had opened up three buttons on her shirt so far I guess that’s why I didn’t notice that police car We’re doing ninety in my Mom’s new Porsche And to make this long story short – short When the cop pulled me over I was scared as hell I said, “I don’t have a license but I drive very well, officer” I almost had a heart attack that day Come to find out the girl was a twelve-year-old runaway I was arrested, the car was impounded There was no way for me to avoid being grounded My parents had to come off from vacation to get me I’d rather be in jail than to have my father hit me My parents walked in I got my grip, I said, “Ah, Mom, Dad, how was your trip?” They didn’t speak – I said, “I want to plead my case” But my father just shoved me in the car by my face That was a hard ride home, I don’t know how I survived They took turns – one would beat me while the other was driving I can’t believe it, I just made a mistake Well parents are the same no matter time nor place So to you all the kids all across the land Take it from me, parents just don’t understand

Johnny V

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