15 'Fresh Prince' Songs That'll Make You Think Of The Show Every Time You Hear Them
Although fans of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air keep hoping for an eventual reunion, it doesn't look like one will happen anytime soon; we'll all just have to be satisfied with the six existing seasons of the Banks family's shenanigans that exist. Thankfully, six seasons of Fresh Prince means over six years full of songs, dances, and convoluted plans (usually involving singing and dancing, natch), more than enough to keep viewers entertained. Just take these 15 songs that Fresh Prince fans will always associate with the show – what's not to love about them?
Sometimes these songs were the background for outlandish dance numbers, like Carlton's love of rocking out to Tom Jones, or the infamous Las Vegas "Apache" dance. Other times, someone in the family was heard singing them at the top of their lungs. Ironically professional singer Will Smith was often the most out of tune, howling out songs for comic effect.
Most of the Banks family had impressive pipes, from Carlton and Ashley's battling it out for solo spot at the church, to Aunt Viv's holding an entire mall captive with her spirited singing. Uncle Phil would occasionally belt out a song, but he usually fell towards the Will end of the lyrical spectrum in terms of keeping on-key. And heaven help everyone if Jazz, played by Smith's real-life music partner DJ Jazzy Jeff, opened up his mouth to join in. Scroll on through to see the best melodic moments The Fresh Prince put a permanent stamp on over the years.
1"Apache (Jump On It)" — Sugarhill Gang
2"Respect" — Aretha Franklin
In Season 5, Episode 2's "What's Will Got To Do With It? Part 2" Ashley's success as a singer went right to Will's head as manager, and between him and her parents, the only way Ashley could make herself heard was to pick up the mic and sing.
3"It's Not Unusual" — Tom Jones
So many episodes, so many Carlton dances. They were usually set to Carlton's favorite song by his hero, Tom Jones (who he even got to meet at one point!)
4"For The Love Of Money" —The O'Jays
In Season 3, Episode 14's "Winner Takes Off", Will and Carlton's prank to make butler Geoffrey think he won the lottery went a little too well, and they had to try and break the bad news as he was getting down to the O'Jays.
5"Soul Man" — Sam & Dave
A Season 1 episode that set the series' tone, it showed how after Will got hustled at a pool hall, Uncle Phil came to a well-intended rescue that seemed to go south. That is, until he asked Geoffrey to hand him Lucille. Cue "Soul Man" and Uncle Phil saving the day.
6"Gangsta" — Bell Biv DeVoe
The classic sitcom plot of "while the parents are away, the kids will play" gets taken to a whole new level when Carlton (Carlton!) arranged for New Jack Swing group Bell Biv Devoe to shoot their latest music video at the house.
7"Billie Jean" — Michael Jackson
Will and Carlton had a bad habit of losing large sums of money and resorting to song and dance to save their butts — not that we're complaining. Season 2's "Striptease For Two" had the cousins recouping stock losses by becoming male strippers, with Carlton shaking his moneymaker to this Michael Jackson classic.
8"You Are My Sunshine"
A sweet song classic with a Fresh Prince twist, Will swallowed his pride to lead a band of students in singing "You Are My Sunshine" for a school production.
Aunt Viv and Uncle Phil's relationship was on the rocks after a promise is broken, so Will and Carlton hatched a plan to bring them back together. Their solution? Karaoke, including "Stop In The Name Of Love", "Reunited", "I'll Be There", and inexplicably, "Banana Boat Song."
10"Theme From Shaft" — Issac Hayes
Season 5, Episode 18's wedding psych-out saw Will and girlfriend Lisa running off to Vegas to get married. the picked the Soul 70s option and had their ceremony overseen by The Black Moses himself, Isaac Hayes, crooning a variation on his famous "Theme From Shaft."
11"Everybody Dance Now" — C&C Music Factory
Facing a Big 40 crisis in Season 2, Aunt Viv decided to take a modern dance class to feel young again. Facing down younger dancers and sneers, she slammed it to irresistible '90s dance floor hit "Everybody Dance Now" in choreography so iconic, entire essays are devoted to it.
12"Ain't To Proud To Beg" — The Temptations
Coming in at the tail end of Season 5, Episode 22's "To Thine Own Self Be Blue...And Gold", Uncle Phil's good friend put Will in an ethical dilemma asking him to deliver a bribe. When Will refused, Uncle Phil assumed Will just screwed up again before grasping his own mistake. Fortunately after Phil realized what was really going on, Will pointed out "the night's still young" and they got down to The Temptations.
13"This Little Light Of Mine"
It's a sibling symphony when Ashley and Carlton both got the solo spot in this Season 6 Easter episode.
14"Proud Mary" — Tina Turner
Ashley and Carlton weren't the only members of the Banks family with vocal chops. Aunt Viv could absolutely hold her own, and got an entire mall rocking out to her cover of a CCR song Tina Turner made classic.
15"Fresh Prince Of Bel Air Theme"
And last but certainly not least, there's the show's iconic theme song. Catchy, colorful, and a perfect introduction to all the show's shenanigans and songs, Smith's summation of his rags-to-riches cross-country transfer started every episode on the right note.
There are so many amazing Fresh Prince moments it's hard to pick the best ones, but these are some of the musical moments that stand out to this day.