Will Smith, who will be starring as the genie in the upcoming Guy Ritchie-directed live-action remake of DIsney's Aladdin', has released a new version of 'Friend Like Me' with DJ Khaled.
The family-friendly classic, originally sung by Robin Williams, is given a hip-hop twist and updated lyrics such as: "You can wish to be rich / You can wish to be tall / You can wish away the haters / You just give me a call".
In an official statement, Smith explains how the new version came to be:
I went into the studio the first day and I really wanted to play with it to see if I could add something to it. Literally 30 minutes in the studio, and started to play with the song [and] the 94/96 BPM range. That BPM range is right old school hip hop. So I grabbed The Honey Drippers ‘Impeach Your President’ and I had them throw that breakbeat under there. I messed around with that. And I messed around with Erik B. & Rakim’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’ under ‘Friend Like Me.’ And I was like, "Oh my god, I’m home!" I started playing with the hip hop flavor, and the Genie was really born in my mind from the music.” We'd like to think Robin Williams would approve.
Listen to the new track below.