Infobox Album | Name = Willennium
Released = November 16, 1999
Recorded = 1999
Length = 62:43
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Reviews = *
AllmusicRating|4|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:y95uak8kkm3p link]
Entertainment WeeklyB+ [http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,64366,00.html link]
Last album = "
Big Willie Style
This album = "Willennium"
Next album = "
Born to Reign"
"Willennium" is the second solo studio album released by
Will Smith. Surrounded by the unprecedented success of " Big Willie Style", the album was released on Columbia Recordsin the United Stateson November, 1999 and featured a fantastic production (surrounded by a big number of celebrities featured). "Willennium" produced a new string of hit singles. The first of them was "Wild Wild West," originally released earlier in the year on the soundtrack for the "movie of the same name". Although the movie was a big failure, the song managed to be a huge hit throughout the world, reaching #1 in the U.S. on July 24, 1999, and on the United World Chart the same day (Smith's only #1 hit worldwide). The song also managed to reach Top 10 positions worldwide, including a #2 peak on the UK charts (where it was blocked by ATB's " 9pm (Till I Come)".
The following single was the huge hit "
Will 2K". The song was specifically created as a party song for the New Year's Dayfor the new millennium. It sampled The Clash's " Rock the Casbah" and referenced Prince's then-timely song "1999" with the lyrics, "Now we gonna party like it's nineteen...hold up, it is." It also poked fun at the hype surrounding Y2K. The song only reached #25 in the US chart but peaked at #2 in the UK chart (this time blocked by Robbie Williams's big-seller " She's the One/It's Only Us" Double-A sided single). The track also ranked at #32 on Blender's list of the "50 Worst Songs Ever". [http://www.blender.com/guide/articles.aspx?id=786]
The blockbuster predecessor album, "
Big Willie Style", dissapeared from the charts only two months before "Willennium" after enjoying an almost 2-year chart run materialized on over 9 million copies sold in the U.S. After such a huge hit, "Willennium" was received with big expectations from critics and general public. The album was released on November 16, 1999, on a very competitive week with other huge Christmas-seasoned releases. "Willennium" managed to reach #5 with a total of 187,000 copies sold in its debut week, being blocked by other big new releases as Korn's " Issues" (which debuted at #1 with 573,000 copies), Dr. Dre's " Dr. Dre 2001" (#2 with 516,000 copies) and Celine Dion's " All the Way... A Decade of Song" (#3 with 302,000 copies sold). [http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:bDJt7vAn6soJ:www.mtv.com/news/articles/1428109/19991124/dion_celine.jhtml+will+smith+willennium+1999+debuted+sold+first+week+%235+copies&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1] It was the only time Smith managed to reach the Top 5 of the Billboard 200list as a solo artist, and surpassing notouriously the #9 peak position of the multimillion-seller "Big Willie Style". During the following "millennium-themed" weeks, the album stayed at the Top 10, but on its sixth week on the charts it first missed it, and then fell very quickly from the charts as the interest due the fact the Y2K has been gone and the fact that Columbia didn't manage to produce new hit singles from the album (the third single, "Freakin' It" reached only #99 in the U.S. and #15 in the UK, first Smith single to fail the UK Top 3 as a solo artist). Falling very quickly through the list, the album dissapeared from the whole Billboard 200 list on late June 2000 after enjoy a full 26 weeks of charting, a little more than a quarter compared with "Big Willie Style". Similar reaction was the one from the UK, with the album reaching #10 and spending a poor 30 weeks at the chart compared to the 108 of "Big Willie Style".
In all, "Willennium" sold only 2 million on the U.S. (being certified 2xPlatinum by the
RIAAon December 17, 1999) and no more than 4 million worldwide. This is also less than a third compared with the sales of its predecessor. Though the low sales, "Willennium" was often considered a successful effort for Smith and a step forward on his creative output.
# "I'm Comin'" (featuring Tra-Knox) – 3:54
# "Will 2K" (featuring K-Ci) – 3:53
# "Freakin' It" – 3:59
# "Da Butta" (featuring
Lil' Kim) – 2:58
# "La Fiesta" – 4:16
# "Who Am I" (featuring
Tatyana Ali& MC Lyte) – 4:02
# "Afro Angel" – 5:10
# "So Fresh" (featuring
DJ Jazzy Jeff, Biz Markie& Slick Rick) – 4:15
# "Pump Me Up" – 4:05
# "Can You Feel Me?" (featuring Eve) – 3:44
# "Potnas"/"Interlude" – 6:09
#* "Potnas" - 4:23
#* "Interlude" - 1:46
# "No More" (featuring Breeze) – 3:29
# "Uuhhh" (featuring Kel Spencer) – 4:28
# "Wild Wild West" (featuring
Dru Hilland Kool Moe Dee) – 4:28
# "The Rain" (featuring
Jill Scott) – 4:48
*'The Rain' contains a sample of Denice Williams' 'I Believe In Miracles'.
*'Can You Feel Me?' contains a sample of Michael Jackson's 'Working Day and Night'.
*The track "Uuhhh" was ghostwritten by Common, credited as "Lynn Lonnie Rashid".
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