The ‘Lost’ Music Video Featuring Will Smith and Freddy Krueger [VIDEO]
So a few days ago, one of the most infamous music videos of all time appeared on YouTube. No pomp and circumstance, no major announcement. It was suddenly just, well, there.
For those of us who were alive and consuming pop music in the 1980s, it was a glorious time when just about anything could actually "work." So in 1988, we were hardly surprised when a young Will Smith--then still known as The Fresh Prince--teamed up with D.J. Jazzy Jeff to make a hip hop track about the very face of 80s horror, Freddy Krueger.
"A Nightmare on My Street" comes from the hit album He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper. It had a killer (no pun intended) beat that merged with the six tones of the Nightmare on Elm Street theme to create an atmospheric sonic landscape that kept the creepy going, even with such cheese lyrics as "You shut off David Letterman, now you must die!"
The track was a hit, actually hitting No. 15 on the Billboard Top 100.
The video used to air on MTV, but not with the frequency the record company had hoped when they first greenlighted the track in the hopes of landing it on the soundtrack to A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. When that deal fell through, New Line Cinema would not give them the licensing to use Freddy Krueger's likeness in the video, and also allegedly forced MTV to pull the video from rotation and had all copies of the video destroyed.
It was never seen again--until now.
Someone, somewhere found the video and uploaded it to YouTube (under the name "Nancy Thompson," who was the lead character in the first film). Now, we can relive the video in all of its distinctively 80s glory--including a brief moment when the video cuts to the episode of "Growing Pains" the person recorded over.
You can see in the video why Will Smith became one of America's most beloved figures over the next three decades, with his charisma and charm on full display. But what you can also see is what happens when you try to have "Freddy Krueger" in your video, but you can't get the rights to actually have Freddy Krueger. Instead, you get this bizarre figure who looks like a cross between Duke Nukem and Max Headroom, wearing a leather jacket instead of his trademark red and green sweater, and sporting some odd knife-fingers.
And, for some reason, sunglasses. Even though it's nighttime. And a dream.
As a Freddy-obsessed 10-year-old in 1988, I always assumed Robert Englund had provided the voice of Krueger for the track. It wasn't until my Walkman got stuck with the tape inside it one day, playing the song an odd speed, that I realized it was just D.J. Jazzy Jeff speaking the "Freddy" parts and then running them through a processor until it sounded remarkably close to Englund.
"I'm your DJ now, Princey!"
After 30 years, you can finally see this goofy fever-dream version of Freddy for yourself: