Whattherap Ever Happened to Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It?

7 Aug

In early 1998 Will Smith released the single “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” off his album Big Willie Style. It spent three weeks on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March 1998, and won a Grammy in 1999 for Best Solo Rap Performance. (Sidebar-Few thing can belittle the importance of the Grammy for Best Solo Rap Performance more than the fact that Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It won in ’99) Clearly this song was a sign of what the coming new millennium would hold for rap. And yet we here at WTR would guess that almost no one outside of the loyal die-hard Big Willie fans has heard “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” in a good 10 years. This sad truth has lead us to ask Whattherap Ever Happened to Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It?

How is it that a song this popular hasn’t stuck around and retained that sort of popularity? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that no one knows what the hell Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It means. Obviously everyone’s first thought is sex, but even if that’s true, does anyone really want to “get jiggy wit it?” Gettin’ jiggy wit it may just be the least appealing term for sex since Ronnie and Sammi “Sweetheart” “smushed” on Jersey Shore. Big Willie claims the term comes from the word Jiggabo, an old derogatory term for black people, which would mean that gettin’ jiggy wit it literally translates to “Getting African-American With It.” And frankly, it makes sense that Will Smith would be the only actual African-American rapper to have to try and get black with it.

So maybe it was the non-sensical title that killed “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.” Or maybe it’s just a really bad song. With lyrics like “Never see Will attacking em/Rather play ball with Shaq and em.” Just a piece of advice to any rappers reading this, never mention Shaq in your rhymes unless you want to forever be associated with Shaq Fu: Da Return. Then again, maybe any song made by a guy who dressed like this (see above picture) wasn’t built to last.

Whatever the reason, Gettin Jiggy Wit It had what seemed to be a meteroic rise and fall. So with the summer dwindling down we here at WTR urge you all to dust off your old Big Willie Style CDs and give Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It the playtime it deserves at your next bbq.


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