DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson" has re-emerged in a recent internet video in what is kind of an odd and unexpected context -- that of the Oscars race and Black Panther. Screenwriter Demi Adejuyigbe offered "I Think I Can Beat Black Panther" as a compelling alternative to the Oscar-nominated "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA. "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson" was the first single from the duo's third studio album, And in This Corner…. It was released a single in late 1989, and its music video included appearances my Tyson and promoter Don King.
In the years since 1989, Will Smith has gone on to become one of the biggest stars in the world, lending a song like this some satirical weight it might otherwise lack. In a cast that was filled with many of the most acclaimed and popular black actors in Hollywood, Black Panther did not feature Smith, who at the time was signed to appear in Warner Bros.'s DC movies as Deadshot, a role he has since vacated. Besides Suicide Squad, Smith appeared in the superhero movie Hancock, which is not based on existing comic book source material. Here, Smith did not collaborate with Adejuyigbe (whose credits include The Good Place and @midnight); lines were simply overdubbed to replace Tyson with stories of "beating up one dude" to take over the Kingdom of Wakanda.
I know we're already over the Oscars, but if you ask me, they nominated the wrong song from BLACK PANTHER. I think Will Smith's "I Think I Can Beat Black Panther" from the credits would've won Best Original Song. https://t.co/NJwjZFXpNu pic.twitter.com/jZ3U8JFpEj— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) February 28, 2019
Black Panther grossed $1.3 billion worldwide, becoming the ninth highest-grossing film of all time, and just the third film in history to earn more than $700 million at the domestic box office. A sequel is now in development with Ryan Coogler returning as writer-director.
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