Now this is a story all about how… schools went into lockdown over one student’s voicemail. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is celebrating 30 years since its debut on September 10, 1990, and the show has created countless fans over the years thanks to the show’s lively characters and funny stories. It put Will Smith on the map, and launched the careers of many of the people who appeared on the show.
What is ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ about?
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘s theme song gives viewers a breakdown of the show’s premise. A teenage boy named Will from West Philadelphia was getting into trouble at home; to help fix this, his mother sent him off to live with his uncle, aunt, and cousins across the country in Bel-Air, Los Angeles.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is, at its core, a coming-of-age story where Will (Smith’s conveniently-named character) learns many life lessons. Of course, there are lots of laughs along the way. But the show was unique because of its portrayal of many of the struggles that young Black men like Will often face.
‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ theme song is timeless
“Yo Home to Bel-Air,” The Fresh Prince‘s universally recognizable theme song, was created by the hardworking duo of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince — the latter of which was a young rapper who would go by his real name, Will Smith, on the show. Like Smith’s character in the song and the sitcom, Smith was born and raised in West Philadelphia; over the years, West Philly has maintained a crime-filled reputation, but the area has slowly cut down on crime in recent years.
Who appeared on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’?
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was Will Smith’s first big acting role. The show became a career highlight for the entire cast, including Alfonso Ribeiro (thanks to his iconic Carlton dance) and James Avery (who gave Uncle Phil so much depth as a character).
Beyond the cast, however, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air attracted many noteworthy guest stars over its six-season run. Tyra Banks joined the show in a recurring role one of Will’s girlfriends, as did Nia Long — a role that Jada Pinkett Smith ironically auditioned for. Everyone from Queen Latifah and Naya Rivera to Oprah Winfrey and, yes, our current President stopped by the Fresh Prince set.
‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ theme song caused schools to go into lockdown
In 2013, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song was the cause of a countywide school lockdown in Pennsylvania. A receptionist at Ambridge Area High School near Pittsburgh called a student to remind him about an appointment, but was horrified when she was sent to voicemail.
The student recorded his own rendition of the Fresh Prince theme song as his voicemail message. The receptionist heard him saying “shooting some b-ball outside of the school” as “shooting some people outside of the school.” She called the police, and the schools in Beaver County, Pennsylvania were put on lockdown while they searched for the student.
Turns out he was in his guidance counselor’s office the whole time. Police took him into custody, and after closely listening to his voicemail message, they realized that he was indeed rapping about shooting b-ball.
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