Influenced both by Eddie Murphy and new hip-hop heroes like Grandmaster Flash, Will began rapping at the age of 12, quickly developing his own slick, semi-comic style. Then, at age 16, he met the man with whom he would score his first worldwide success. At a party in Philadelphia, he fired a fart spray into a fan (a mechanical fan, that is, not a fan of his music), impressing no one. No one except DJ Jazzy Jeff – real name Jeff Townes – who had himself been working at music since the age of 10. The pair became firm friends and began to collaborate, Jeff as DJ, Will as rapper (having expanded his nickname to Fresh Prince). So vigorous was their pursuit of musical excellence that Will even turned down a scholarship to Boston’s super-prestigious MIT in order to follow his dream. At least, that’s the legend built up around this sophisticated performer.