When the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, our great age of disappointment began. First, the Y2K bug failed to send us all back to medieval times, then the Bush administration came along, and then to top it all off, the artistic renaissance we were waiting for never materialized. I’m speaking, of course, of the Willennium, the 1,000-year reign of Will Smith over all the arts and sciences that the 1990s promised but never delivered. Think about it—when’s the last time you were sure your definition of summer madness was up to date?
Although lexicographers bear Smith a particular grudge for abandoning them, for the rest of us, his absence is most painful during the closing credits of movies. Masterpieces like Men In Black and Wild Wild West were defined by Smith’s plot-summarizing rhymes—but all this century can deliver are wan imitations like “Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head),” “Happyness (Pursue Ya Goals),” and “Bagger Vance’s Magic Dances.” But on Saturday, TV writer Demi Adejuyigbe (@electrolemon on Twitter) tried to usher in the Willennium all on his own, writing and performing Will Smith end credit raps for Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, and Moonlight. Here’s how Arrival should have ended:
Here’s Hacksaw Ridge:
And here’s the end credit rap for Moonlight, with the best Will Smith lyric Will Smith never wrote (“It felt like that was me, but I can’t relate, because I’m super-duper wealthy and incredibly straight.”):
Finally, although it’s hard to listen to these days without tearing up, here’s “A Nightmare on My Street,” the song that first promised us that we could one day experience every film—whether Will Smith was in it or not—through the clarifying lens of Will Smith lyrics:
There was once a dream that was the Willennium. You could only whisper it. But they say on still nights like tonight, you can still hear its call on the lonesome wind. “Ha ha, ha ha. What? What?” it cries. “Wooooo!”