According to published reports, Will Smith has been dropped from the roster at Sony Music because of waning record sales. In addition, label heads reportedly believe that the young consumers of hip-hop no longer want the 34-year-old rapper/actor as a musician.
Smith’s Born To Reign, failed to move a significant amount of units as it related to his massive star power in summer blockbuster “Men In Black II,” which was cross promoted with Reign. Initially, the album failed to debut in the top 10 and moved roughly 60,000 units, steadily slipping despite a bevy of marketing attempts though outlets like BET.
"Men In Black II" was a huge box office success and Smith totally raked in over $28 million from the movie alone.
To date, Smith has sold over 20 million records worldwide since signing to Sony in 1997, but Born To Reign’s slump confirmed the end of the business union.
Nevertheless, insiders speculate that Smith is negotiating with DreamWorks for a new deal.
Smith, as Fresh Prince, started his clean-cut rap career with DJ Jazzy Jeff in 1987 and garnered accolades early with the success of their first album, Rock The House. The pair’s second album, He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper, would go on to sell over 2 million records. Eventually after experiencing success as an actor, Smith went solo, peaking with 1998’s Willenium.
Currently, Smith is grooming his eldest son Trey to rap in his father’s image.