Season 2 of Bel-Air sees the return of Jabari Banks as Will Smith, Adrian Holmes as Uncle Phil, Cassandra Freeman as Aunt Vivian, Olly Sholotan as Carlton, Coco Jones as Hilary, Akira Akbar as Ashley, and Jimmy Akingbola as the butler.
NUP_199333_00937R NUP 199333 00937R The Source had the opportunity to sit with the cast at Langham Hotel in Pasadena, for an exclusive roundtable conversation. Split into two groups, the cast discusses what it meant to have Saweetie on set, what hip-hop means to them, and their favorite artists. I interviewed Saweetie a nd she told me she was taking acting classes. How was it working with her on set and what can we expect from her character? Olly Sholotan: Saweetie is the nicest-smelling woman on the planet. She smells great, which I feel thats really, really important. Working with her was fantastic. Shes very, very kind and very gracious. Having her on set was so exciting. I dont want to say too much, but its this really cool scene at a party and the setting is a lot. Jabari Banks: It was actually one of the first days shooting. Olly Sholotan: It was our second day shooting and Saweetie comes by, it was really, really exciting. It was such a great way to kick off the season of filming. Jabari Banks: And you know what? She was super prepared. She was even more prepared than we expected her to be. More prepared than us, to be honest. She was a joy. Saweetie is amazing. I love her as an artist. I respect her a lot as an artist, it was amazing that she got to grace our show. ______ Adrian Holmes: She was so sweet. Cassandra Freeman: She was so sweet, she can actually be an actress! I was like, look here lady, youre legit. Adrian Holmes: She was very comfortable. Very, very relaxed. She was a nice addition to the energy. Stay tuned, were going to be seeing more of her. Cassandra Freeman: You just never know what to expect when you see people from different industries coming into your industry. Some people over prepare, under prepare. Some people arent personable. They dont know if theyre supposed to be personable when you hit the set. She was just professional. As soon as she hit, she was so nice and normal. There was no diva energy, it wasnt like excuse me! Im Saweetie! It was like, Hey guys, Im here. She was super sweet, just like her name. Adrian Holmes: She lived up to her name, for sure. ______ Hip-Hop celebrates its 50th year anniversary this year. What does hip-hop mean to you and who is your favorite artist currently? Adrian Holmes: Hip-hop, for me, is the fabric of my childhood. It really shaped our lives, and my life. Its very nostalgic. When I think of hip-hop, I go back to Heavy D and the boys. Im a 90s hip-hop head, so I go back to Leaders of the New School, A Tribe Called Quest. I love that about Phillip because they introduce that in the show. In my office, I have artwork and post pictures of concerts and hip-hop references. Cassandra Freeman: I love it! Mine would be J.J. Fad, Salt & Pepa, Lauryn Hill. Queen Latifah. MC Lyte, come on. This is my childhood. Especially J.J. Fad was the first rap I ever learned. Were J.J. Fad and were here to rock! That was the first rap I ever learned. Jimmy Akingbola: Cass is a rapper, shes got bars. For me, Im thinking of people like Ice Cube, Wu-Tang Clan, N.W.A. Growing up, they really had a big influence on me. Fu-Schnickens. Also, some of the new cats now. Is it Coast Contra? They do a lot of great freestyles on Instagram. Obviously, you got people like Kendrick. My favorite. In the UK, because I got to represent, men like Stormzy. For me, hes the GOAT. Hes the king of UK hip-hop at the moment. As well as Ghetts, Kano, and Blaze, whos in Top Boy. So its a real good time, but hip-hop for me is an identity, the culture, also education. That storytelling back in the 90s was what was beautiful. Adrian Holmes: Thats the thing: back in the 90s, there was more of a story being told through the music. Not to say that doesnt exist today. Kendrick, J. Cole, they do that too. In the 90s, it was poetry. Spoken word. Real spoken word, they put a beat to it. Jimmy Akingbola: Who was that one? Jeru the Damaja. Adrian Holmes: Oh man! Because hip-hop is so nostalgic. When you think about hip-hop, you think about certain artists and songs, it takes you back to a time and place in your life and it sparks joy. It makes you feel good. You remember where you were when you heard these songs, or that time in your life. Thats why we could talk about it. ______ Coco Jones: Hip-hop is about being vulnerable in a way that still gets stuck in your head. Its a really interesting balance because if youre making an important song, youre probably talking about something and its infectious at the same time. Thats hard to do. Sometimes hip-hop is seen as something easy, but really, it takes a lot of skill to make a song that will stand the test of time. I know that being a musician and an artist is equally challenging. Im not in hip-hop, but Im in R&B. And thats what Im always trying to do, especially with my EP What I Didnt Tell You. Just making music that stands the test of time, in any genre is challenging. Hip-hop is culture. A lot of things get inspired by hip-hop, and they wouldnt even