Before his role as Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Willard Smith enjoyed a successful career as a rapper under the alias, “The Fresh Prince” as a Member of a duo together with Jeffrey “DJ Jazzy Jeff” Townes.
They both met in 1985 when Townes, who was acting at a house-party near Smith’s house, needed a hype man, as his usual guy hadn’t shown up. Smith, who was just 17 years of age, happily filled in, and he was so good at it. Townes became upset after his hype-man arrived a few hours later.
Smith became a millionaire way before he left high school
Smith and Townes made the team, and less than a year after that, they had a number one hit “Girls Ain’t just Trouble,” making Smith a millionaire before he’d left his school. The pair added singles and albums to their victory, netting Smith more money, which he spent like he was a member of the 18th-century French aristocracy.
As per Smith, he experienced a hit single on radio stations for 30 days before he even graduated from high school. It seemed very simple to him. Smith says that he spent roughly $6 million in half as many years. But throughout this moment, Smith forgot about the “taxes.” When questioned about why he was never bothered to pay his taxes during his teenage, Smith responded in one interview, saying, “When you get paid in cash, you forget about such things.”
Will Smith nicknamed Prince
After blowing through millions of dollars, buying things such as a necklace with words on it as “The New Prince” encrusted in diamonds, 19-year-old Will Smith was awakened by the IRS knocking on his door. He told them he didn’t have any money, and the IRS took all of his stuff.
Smith was broke, and perhaps not just bankrupt, but owing considerable amounts to an organization not so famous for forgiving and charging amazingly high-interest rates on unpaid taxes and debt.
Though many of the fans assume that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was based on Smith’s own life, the actual concept and the idea behind the series, in reality, is based on the life span of the music industry big-wig, Benny Medina. Medina was orphaned at a young age while residing among those poorest neighborhoods in southern California before being adopted by a wealthy white family living in Beverly Hills. Medina, who’s black, felt that his life would make decent fodder to get a fish out of water humor and chucked the idea to a curious Smith when the pair met at a party on a couple of this Arsenio Hall talk-show.
Though the series was a well-received victory and Smith had learned his lesson about money management, still his money troubles were not yet over. 70 percent of his earnings were taken by the IRS to cover off his past earnings and pay the new ones in the first 3 years.
Lucky for him the series lasted those three seasons when he could pay off his past taxes. Smith also was able to repaint The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air into a lifetime career as one of the most successful male celebrities in history. His life did get flipped-turned upside down through the series.