Wild Wild West (Will Smith song)

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"Wild Wild West"
Single by Will Smith featuring Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee
from the album Wild Wild West and Willennium
B-side Chasing Forever
Released May 4, 1999
Format CD single
Recorded Spring 1999
Genre Hip hop, funk
Length 4:28 (album version)
4:07 (single version)
Label Overbrook/Interscope/Columbia
Writer(s) Moe Dewese, Rob Fusari, Will Smith, and Stevie Wonder
Producer(s) Rob Fusari & Mark Wilson
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Will Smith singles chronology
"Miami"
(1998)
"Wild Wild West"
(1999)
"Will 2K"
(1999)

"Wild Wild West" is the title of a hip hop song co-written by Will Smith as the theme song for Smith's film of the same name. The song also appears on Smith's 1999 album, Willenium. Will Smith's 1999 release was recorded specifically for Smith's planned summer blockbuster movie, Wild Wild West. Smith's song became a number-one pop hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and its extended music video, directed by Paul Hunter, was a hit on MTV. Will Smith's "Wild Wild West" single samples Stevie Wonder's song "I Wish", with parts of the chorus from Kool Moe Dee's song of the same name as well. Kool Moe Dee re-performs that chorus for the song, with additional guest vocals from R&B group Dru Hill. The album version of the song also features, as an introduction, a brief spoken word conversation between Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith in which Will asks his son what song he should perform next, and Jaden suggests this one. The song won Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song. This song appeared in the video game Just Dance 4.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD1
  1. "Wild Wild West" – 4:05
  2. "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" (album version) – 3:48
  3. "Big Willie Style" (Left Eye Remix) – 3:35
UK CD2
  1. "Wild Wild West" – 4:05
  2. "Miami" (Jason Nevins' Live on South Beach Dub) – 5:11
  3. "Chasing Forever" – 4:16
Thailand maxi single
  1. "Wild Wild West" – 4:05
  2. "Wild Wild West" (radio version) – 3:29
  3. "Wild Wild West" (a cappella) – 4:05
  4. "Miami" (Miami Mix) – 4:40
  5. "Just the Two of Us" (Rodney Jerkins Remix featuring Brian McKnight) – 4:14
US maxi single
  1. "Wild Wild West" (album version) – 4:08
  2. "Wild Wild West" (radio version) – 3:28
  3. "Wild Wild West" (instrumental) – 4:09
  4. "Wild Wild West" (a cappella) – 4:05

Music video[edit]

The high-profile music video for the single directed by Paul Hunter (director), running seven minutes and including several dialog sequences, featured Smith, Kool Moe Dee, Dru Hill, and guest appearances from Stevie Wonder, as well as interspersed clips from the film featuring, as their Wild Wild West characters, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek and Kenneth Branagh. Hayek also appears as her character in the video's dialog sequences, as does an actor resembling Branagh and his character of Dr. Loveless. Fellow popstar Enrique Iglesias also appeared in the video playing a Prince. Moreoever, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star and tap dancer Alfonso Ribeiro appeared in the music video as one of the dancers. Other cameos include actor Larenz Tate, Shari Headley, singer/writer/producer Babyface and female rapper MC Lyte. The "Wild Wild West" video notably was a star-making vehicle for Dru Hill lead singer Sisqó, while relegating the other three members of the quartet to the background. Dru Hill member James "Woody" Green quit the group on the set of the video, feeling a need to return to his gospel music roots.

Critical reception and parodies[edit]

Despite its pop success, the song was criticized[by whom?] for both sampling Wonder's song and for its incongruity with the western for which it serves as the theme. It won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst "Original" Song of 1999. (Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio later ranked the song at #27 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever while telling Will Smith in spirit, "Look, make your dumb 'robots in the Wild West' film, get millions, God bless. Just leave Stevie Wonder alone!"[1]) An "unreleased" remix of this song, said[by whom?] to be remixed by Jason Nevins, is available through file-sharing programs. In the South Park episode "Cat Orgy", Eric Cartman sings a parody of "Wild Wild West".

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[2] 1
Canada (Canadian Singles Chart)[3] 9
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[4] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[5] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[6] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 1
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[9] 3
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[10] 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (September 11, 2010). "100 Worst Songs Ever -- Part Four of Five". AOL Radio. Retrieved December 24, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Will Smith – Wild Wild West". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  3. ^ "Will Smith > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Will Smith – Wild Wild West". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Will Smith – Wild Wild West". VG-lista. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Will Smith – Wild Wild West". Singles Top 60. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  7. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  8. ^ "Will Smith Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Will Smith. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  9. ^ "Will Smith Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Will Smith. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  10. ^ "Will Smith Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Will Smith. Retrieved January 15, 2012.