97 Words: “Miami” by Will Smith

Vincent Anthony
2 Min Read

This song is part of our “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist. Check out the full list.

It can be hard to reclaim the vibe and energy of a massive, career-defining hit without sounding reductive. On his 1998 smash hit “Miami,” Will Smith successfully channels his 1991 hit “Summertime” by celebrating a city where it’s always summer. With some questionable lyrics and ad-libs from an unidentified “hot mami” that are equally corny but somehow stomach-able coming from the beloved Fresh Prince in the prime of his career. An undeniable party anthem, “Miami” was a big hit, helping his debut solo album become a monster success, certified 9x Platinum as of July 2000, it’s surely close to Diamond status.

Watch the “Miami” video, stream it, or check out Will Smith’s memoir.

In celebration of summer, the staff at THE 97 has compiled a playlist containing some of our favorite summer songs, from then and now. Each day we will reveal one song, rotating daily between past and present with pairings from 1998 and 2023, for a total of 97 days/songs. Since we love nostalgia, we’re celebrating summer songs from 1998 as they turn 25, alongside new songs that we feel deserve some shine. Pairings could be thematic, sonic, or based connections between the artists.

Check out our full “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist here

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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.