DJ Jazzy Jeff Says Parents Still Just Don’t Understand

Plus, Will Smith’s old record-spinning cohort talks Philly’s need for a Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, his classic jam “Summertime,” and his best concert ever.

Illustration of Philadelphia DJ Jazzy Jeff by artist Andy Friedman.

My name is … Jeff Townes, a.k.a. DJ Jazzy Jeff. Friends just call me Jeff.

I grew up in … West Philly, at 57th and Cedar. It was a basketball court. It was a football field. It was where the block parties were and the M orrone’s truck drove down and you bought water ice and soft pretzels. It was everything you could ask for in a childhood.

The best song I did with Will was … Summertime.” It won’t die. I’m amazed to see it. I wait for it to get warm, and that song comes back. Every time.

If you’re coming to my house for a cookout … expect a huge feast. And crabs. Maryland blue crabs.

The best concert I ever went to … was one I performed at. We were on Run DMC’s Raising Hell tour with Public Enemy. It was at the Spectrum, and we received our first gold record there.

When I want to celebrate, I go to … my home. It may seem boring, but it’s true. I celebrate with my wife and kids, who are 26, 13, and three-year-old twins.

My wife thinks I should … keep my hair low.

If you’re making me a cocktail … it has to be sweet. I like rum-tinis and Malibu and pineapple juice.

The farthest I’ve been from Philadelphia … would have to be Perth, Australia. But I just came back from Dubai. It’s very wealthy and very excessive. They like to party.

What this city really needs is … a Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles. Oh, and a great Sixers coach.

The problem with kids today … is that they don’t play outside enough. They’re too busy on the Internet. Get outside and play a game of halfball. It will change your life.

My favorite food in Philadelphia … is a cheesesteak and a Gremlin from Ishkabibble’s. It’s a grape lemonade, and it’s so good.

The best thing I own … would be my ’69 custom Camaro. It’s my only-drive-on-a-Sunday-afternoon-when-it’s-nice-out car.

The last book I read cover-to-cover was … The Coldest Winter Ever, by Sister Souljah. For the fifth time.

My record collection is … confusing but large. I don’t have them in order. They’re just on shelves and in bins.

I’m absolutely terrified … of spiders.

The last time I spoke with Will … was a week ago.

One TV show I can’t get enough of is … Scandal. I never thought I would like it when I heard people talking about it, but it’s got a great plot.

People don’t understand that DJs … are not jukeboxes.

The one thing I miss most about living in the city … is getting a bite to eat at three in the morning.

If you want me to DJ your wedding … I probably have to know you.

There’s no need to argue … parents just don’t understand.

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