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Jazzy Jeff is a DJ and producer known for his pioneering turntable work and his collaboration with Will Smith, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
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4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The last studio album the pair would release was 1993's Code Red, which went on to achieve gold status. But at this point, Will Smith had three Hollywood films under his belt and was essentially turning his career toward the big screen for good (they would reunite and perform a few songs at 2005's Live 8 concert in Philadelphia).
After DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince dissolved, Jazzy Jeff started a musical production company, A Touch of Jazz, and produced pop and rap recordings as well as music for television and film. He also designed the first mixer made specifically for DJs who scratch records, the Gemini 2200. The 21st century finds Jazzy Jeff still producing and working with up-and-coming talent through a partnership with Dreamworks.
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When musicians land big fame, there typically comes a moment of reinvention in which the "rock star" identity is born. This new persona often requires a new name, a way to differentiate between the private and public versions of themselves. Musical monikers take different forms, from the simple, last-name changes aimed at boosting celebrity appeal—like Steven Tyler—to the glamorized version of a childhood nickname—like Jay-Z. Musicians' nicknames and aliases tend to take on an identity all their own over time, often becoming as full of personality as the artists they represent.
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