Will Smith Commented on Ozzfest in His Memoir
Will Smith commented on Ozzfest in his memoir, Will, published last year, calling it the "least African-American event" outside of Olympic curling.
The actor and rapper who infamously slapped comedian Chris Rock onstage at March's 94th Academy Awards has links to Ozzfest through his wife, the actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Her nu-metal band, Wicked Wisdom, took part in Ozzfest 2005.
In his book, Will writes, "Ozzfest is the least African American event outside of that broom-and-big-ass-hockey puck thing they do at the Olympics," as Metal Hammer reported on Tuesday (May 10), the actor referring to the sport of curling.
"'Babe, are you sure you don't wanna do some R&B?'" he asks Jada in the book. "I asked softly, but I meant it hard. '[Metal] is the music I feel,' Jada responded softly, but she meant it hard. So we packed up our children and headed down the black brick road to the land of Ozz."
Smith continues that Ozzfest "featured all the metals. Thrash, industrial, hardcore punk, deathcore, metalcore, post-hardcore, alternative, death, gothic and nu. Sharon had seen Jada's band and some part of her understood. She and Jada became friends, and Sharon put Wicked Wisdom on Ozzfest."
Sharon, of course, is The Talk host Sharon Osbourne, the media personality and wife of Ozzy Osbourne. She co-founded Ozzfest with the metal legend in 1996.
Yet it appears Will took Ozzfest closer to heart as Wicked Wisdom performed, with the actor illustrating how doubt about his wife's band was overcome.
Will continues, "Ozzfest is a purist audience, and what began as skepticism and dismissal, with every show was transformed first into silence, and ultimately into respect. Jada's appearance at Ozzfest was so successful that Guns N' Roses asked her to open for them on their upcoming tour."
Jada formed Wicked Wisdom in 2002; the band split up four years later. In May 2021, her and Will's daughter, the artist Willow Smith, reunited Wicked Wisdom for a special performance. Ozzfest hasn't taken to the road as a touring festival since 2018.