Chris Rock Calls out Will Smith, and It Has Nothing to Do With the Oscars Slap

First came Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards. Then came the wave of fallout, including Rock calling out Smith’s musical talents.

Smith was the big loser of the Academy Awards for letting his emotions overcome him. Soon after the Oscars incident, studios paused their Smith projects, he joined the shortlist of people to be expelled from the Academy, and Rock quickly went back to work while Smith laid low. Rock witnessed a stage-storming incident when a fan tackled comedian Dave Chappelle. In the aftermath of that attack, Rock called out Smith for his “soft” rapping skills. 

Will Smith (left) accepts his best actor at the 2022 Oscars; Chris Rock (right) at the National Board of Review gala in 2022. Rock called out Smith's rapping talent two months after Smith slapped him at the Oscars.
(l-r) Will Smith; Chris Rock | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for National Board of Review

Chris Rock witnesses Dave Chappelle get assaulted on stage

Smith attacked Rock in front of a packed house at the Oscars. Chappelle found himself in a similar situation in May 2022.

As Chappelle wrapped a set at the Hollywood Bowl, a person stormed the stage and tackled him. Chappelle and the assailant, who had a replica gun, wrestled on the stage for a moment, but the incident ended quickly. The security team, which happened to include Busta Rhymes and Jamie Foxx, grabbed the attacker, who was soon charged with assault.

Rock joked, “Was that Will Smith?” in the aftermath of the incident. Rock called out Smith for his rapping talent a few days later.

Rock calls out Will Smith for his ‘soft’ rapping skills

Rock has continued touring in the aftermath of the Oscars incident. That included an appearance with Chappelle a few days after Chappelle’s brush with a stage-storming attacker.

They got around to discussing Chappelle’s run-in and the Rock-Smith encounter. Chappelle joked that at least someone famous assaulted Rock instead of “a homeless guy with leaves in his hair,” as Yahoo reported.

Rock immediately called out Smith, particularly his skills as a rapper.

“I got smacked by the softest [N-word] that ever rapped,” Rock said, according to Yahoo.

Chris Rock

Rock won in the aftermath of the Oscars slap by continuing to face the public, showing that the incident didn’t bother him. Rock didn’t press charges, and he and Smith reportedly settled their feud. We’ll have to wait and see if Rock’s comments about Smith’s rapping reopen the wounds or float harmlessly into the ether.

Smith has award-winning musical talent

Rock called out Smith for his rapping skills, and he obviously doesn’t have a high opinion of what Smith has done as a musician. 

Others do.

Smith has sold nearly 10 million albums as a solo artist, according to Billboard, and his work has impressed the critics, too.

D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince won the Grammy for best rap performance in 1988 for “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” The duo repeated the feat for “Summertime” in 1991, and Smith won back-to-back best solo rap performance Grammys in 1998 and 1999 for the “He’s the Greatest Dancer”-sampling “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” and “Wild Wild West,” respectively.

Rock called out Smith’s rapping skills, but based on sales and awards, the Oscar-winner has many fans of his musical work.

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