Will Smith: Lost and Found
Will Smith’s latest, Lost and Found, caught my eye (because he will always be the Fresh Prince!) but there were a few songs I had to add to the blog! “Ms. Holy Roller” lashes out (initially) at Michelle, who has of late come to know Jesus, and now condemns Smith. He raps back that he has known Jesus since Sunday School and Easter, that “I always strive to be righteous, my version of God/The reason I never write verses with curses inside/The reason I never purposely hurt persons/I’ve applied many teachings of God/Searching the reaches of God.” He believes God knows that he is doing his best to live his life for God—he doesn’t curse, yet I find it interesting because this woman must know now how he feels. The song closes with spoken words from Smith: “The greatest atrocities ever committed on this planet have been in the name of God/This country was founded by the Puritans, for the expressed purpose of oppression-free worship.” He obviously feels strongly that Jesus requires much from him but that it cannot be interpreted for him by someone else.
“Why” relates the shock of 9/11 as it ran through the lives of Smith and his children that morning. “Souls are captured/Dreams are stolen, hearts are broken/Evil blatantly rewarded/Hate surrenders, Love exalted/Hope elated, negativity is shorted.” The circle of understanding is negative impact by evil but by the end, the future seems brighter. A strand of murdered people from the past (far and recent) is rapped through as Smith continues to question what he should tell his kids. Once again, the closing words bring conclusion to the struggle: “But for me I try to see the bright side/Sometimes it be like the goodness it be tryin’ to hide/Then try to flee but it can’t it’s deep inside/Sweetie, you be the light for others, make ‘em believe in God.” Like many of the Psalms, “Why” expresses frustration at evil appearing to gain the upper hand and sadness at lives lost, but it resolves to set a good example and stay focused on God in the end.
The faith elements aren’t always apparent (“Switch,” “If You Can’t Dance”) but the overall gist allows Smith’s beliefs to shine through. Fresh Prince is growing up and his expressions of faith grow with him.