Kid N’ Play Turned Down Popular 90s TV Show, Kid Says It’s Their “Dumbest” Career Move Ever

Posted On : March 6, 2018

ILOSM family we have all made mistakes in life and hopefully have grown wiser as a result. Sometimes, certain mistakes still make us look in the mirror and say ‘I was a damn FOOL for doing that!’ Today that’s the case for 80s/90s hip hop duo, Kid N’ Play (Chris “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin) and the decision they made back in the day, which Reid now says was the one of the dumbest career moves of their lives.

Hip Hop Duo Kid 'N Play Visit Pearl Cohn High School In Nashville
Christopher ‘KID’ Reid and Christopher ‘PLAY’ Martin (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Emotions Got The Best Of ‘Em

In an interview with HipHopDX, Chris “Kid” Reid revealed the decision he and his rap partner, Play should have never made. They turned down the opportunity NBC offered them to do what ultimately became The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That was before the network offered t to Will “Fresh Prince” Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff. There is also an ironic twist that later involved Smith and Jazzy Jeff as well.

On the Set of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: (L-R)  Joseph Marcell, actor James Avery, actor Alfonso Ribeiro, singer Tyler Collins, actor Kadeem Hardison, actor Will Smith, music/television producer Quincy Jones, singer Al B. Sure!, actress Tatyana Ali, actress Janet Hubert and actress Karyn Parsons break from filming ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ on October 20, 1990 at Columbia/Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood, California. (photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Chris “Kid”: “What went down at the time was that we got the cartoon series first with NBC — first rappers to ever have a cartoon. … We also had a sitcom deal with NBC at the same time, and we were developing that. This was before [The Fresh Prince of Bel Air] was on the air. So we were heading down that road, developing it with producers, about to hire people, this, that and the third, and then NBC came at us and said, ‘We still want to do the sitcom,’ and they also said, ‘but we want to cancel the cartoon series.’ […] They were phasing out cartoons, period. Well, we were so disappointed by that because we’re OGs, we came up on cartoons. So for us becoming cartoons was a big deal. And we were really upset that they were talking about canceling the cartoon. So we told them, and this is probably one of the dumber things we ever did, ‘We don’t want to do no night show with you. We don’t want to do no sitcom. If you cancel that cartoon, then you cancel us, we’ll go elsewhere.’ (laughs) So that slot for that show ended being the same slot for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. That’s how that goes. They moved on, and they put Will in that spot. We made a mistake and took it too personal.”

DJ Jazzy Jeff Reveals Ironic Plot Twist

Emotions also were the guiding force behind a career altering decision Will “Fresh Prince” Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff made in the early 90s. Jazzy Jeff revealed they ironically were offered the lead roles in the House Party movies before Kid N’ Play were. Much like Kid N’Play were pissed off with NBC at that time, Jazzy Jeff revealed, in an interview, that he and Will were pissed with New Line Cinema, which ultimately led to them turning down that House Party offer. Gotta luv the irony of this one.

GBR: 'I, Robot' - UK Film Premiere - Arrivals
Will “Fresh Prince” Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff  (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

What had happened was that right around that time, New Line Cinema released the 4th installment of the classic 80’s film, Nightmare On Elm Street. Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff decided to capitalize off of it, without getting an approval. They released their 1988 hit, “Nightmare On My Street,” which heavily sampled “Freddy Krueger’s” voice. New Line was like ‘Aw HELL naw!’ and hit the duo with a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Smith and Jazzy then were offered two options by New Line: either pay their settlement out of pocket, or film two movies for them and have their settlements be deducted from their pay. One of the films was House Party, which told the story of a rapper and a DJ.

Original House Poster Movie Poster (1990)

A post shared by Jamelle Greene (@mell_greene) on

Feeling like they were being ‘punked,’ by the ‘work-your-debt-off 2-movie deal,’ they actually opted to pay their settlements outta pocket instead, passing on what later became one of the biggest 90s cult classic films. See what Jazzy revealed about this below:

DJ Jazzy Jeff: “What sucks about that was my reasons for not taking it [the lead role in House Party] didn’t have anything to do with the movie. It was more of the legal part that we were going through with New Line Cinemas. I don’t think we ever looked at it like, ‘Yo, it would be kind of dope if we did this.’ I think it was kind of like we had the ability to say no, so let’s just say no. […] We almost felt like they [New Line] were mad at us and this was our punishment. We never got from New Line Cinemas like, ‘You know what, quiet as kept, we really think you guys are really talented. … ‘ We kind of got, if your mom says listen, do you want a beating or do you wanna take sitting in your room tonight, you’re gonna take sitting in your room.”

Kid N Play ultimately landed the role after Smith and Jazzy turned it down, which wasn’t a bad look at all. According to TheChive, ‘House Party part 1 grossed $26,386,000 from a $2.5million budget. Part 2 made almost $20million with $19.1million for part 3.’

Overall, it seems that the universe put the right rap duos in the proper places that were meant for them at that time. I couldn’t imagine Fresh Prince of Bel Air, nor House Party starring anyone else.

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