The last time Will Smith produced a full-length record, it was 2005, and the world looked very, very different. In the 13 years since, he’s focused mostly on his acting career and his family — which means occasionally dealing with rumors that he and his wife of 20 years, Jada Pinkett Smith, are divorcing. On May 23, Smith shared a video on YouTube that served two purposes: putting those rumors to rest and announcing new music.
In the video, Smith says, “When I was at my peak, I was doing a television show, a movie, and an album every year. So it was like churning out that kind of creativity. What happens is, you get to a point where you get empty, so I’m excited. I’m reenergized, and I’m creating wildly like I used to.”
The video also features a brief clip of a song called “To the Clique,” wherein Smith raps about his personal life. He refers to his marriage as “20 years of swagger” and tells critics to “stop the divorce rumors and mind your damn business.” He also drops references to his long, illustrious career (“Everybody wanna do Will Smith numbers / I don’t know if your life got that many summers”) and calls his family — Pinkett Smith, their kids Willow and Jayden and Smith’s son Trey from his previous marriage — “the real-life Incredibles.”
Like all celebrity couples, especially ones who last longer than a few years, Smith and Pinkett Smith have faced divorce rumors multiple times. Typically, they don’t address them, which makes this song an interesting choice. In 2015, when several outlets ran with an unconfirmed story claiming they were headed to divorce court, Smith wrote on Facebook, “Under normal circumstances, I don’t usually respond to foolishness (Because it’s contagious), But, so many people have extended me their ‘deepest condolences’ that I figured — ‘What the hell… I can be foolish, too!’ So, in the interest of redundant, repetitious, over & over-again-ness… Jada and I are… NOT GETTING A DIVORCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Around the same time, Pinkett Smith told American Airlines’ in-flight magazine, “Every year there’s a new one. And I’m like, ‘Here we go. Get ready. Are ya holdin’ on tight?'”
With this new song, Smith gets a little more explicit in not only addressing the silliness of these rumors, but reiterating how devoted he is to his family. Willow made headlines recently after she sat down with her mother and grandmother on Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk talking about her armpit hair and relaying a conversation wherein her father said he’s glad she’s not “curvy” because he wants people to look at her mind before they look at her body.
Perhaps Smith is trying to prove that he’s still got it, even after 13 years, or perhaps he’s just trying to get back in everyone’s good graces after that comment? The content of his new song is far racier than anything he produced in his heyday… but of course, it’s just a teaser.