“I was not a gangster… I was a coward”: Will Smith Was ‘Violently Infuriated’ by His Greatest Insecurity Way Before Jada Smith

One of his greatest insecurities was being called a "soft" or "whack" rapper, which made him feel like a coward.

"I was not a gangster... I was a coward": Will Smith Was 'Violently Infuriated' by His Greatest Insecurity Way Before Jada Smith


  • Will Smith has been the subject of gossip after slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
  • He recently released a memoir called "Will," in which he talks about his life, including his childhood and his marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith.
  • In the memoir, Smith recalls his first love at the age of seven and discusses how his middle-class upbringing affected his rap career.
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Will Smith has been making headlines ever since the 2022 Oscars after he slapped Chris Rock for poking fun at Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia. Following that slapgate incident, the actor became the hot topic of gossip in Tinseltown over his relationship with his wife. 

Will Smith
Will Smith

However, following the release of his mémoire Will, the Emancipation actor broke down the story of his life. Emerging as a rapper in the industry, Will Smith narrated how he ventured into Hollywood. In that bit of his mémoire, Smith noted his greatest insecurity and discussed what he hated the most about himself. 

Also read: “My heart shattered”: Will Smith Regretted Betraying His Son’s Trust After the Young Actor Asked To Be Emancipated From the Oscar-Winner


Will Smith Recalled His Childhood Years in His Memoir

Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith have been making headlines for a year now, following the Oscar slap and their notorious marriage. The couple often went public during podcasts and interviews about their personal life and their marriage. However, the Aladdin actor’s mémoire drew attention after he spoke about his life in detail. 

Will Smith
Will Smith recalled his childhood years

In his recently released mémoire Will, Smith spoke about his early years, his family, his career, and eventually his marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith. According to a segment in his mémoire, Will Smith noted his childhood years and recalled his first love at the age of seven. Speaking about his infatuation with Stacey Brooks, the actor recalled the memories. 

Will Smith
Smith wrote about his childhood love in his memoir

Our neighborhood was thick with kids…Stacey Brooks is my oldest friend in the world. We met the day, my family moved to Woodcrest…I was in love with her, by the time I was seven. But she was in love with David Brandon. He was nine.” 

Discussing how the neighborhood had lots of kids and most of them had middle-class upbringings, Will Smith then ventured into how his early life impacted his rap career. 


Also read: “My son thought my voice was goofy”: Will Smith Took A Drastic Step That Very Few Actors Would Do After Awful Verdict From Jaden Smith

Will Smith Noted His Greatest Insecurity That Infuriated Him 

Claiming how he was brought up in a middle-class family, Will Smith mentioned being humble and certainly not a gangster. However, this upbringing not only affected his lifestyle but also impacted his rap career. Smith mentioned his family life was something that turned into constant criticism when it came to his rap music. 

Will Smith
Will Smith mentioned how his decent upbringing affected his rap career

I was not a gangster, and I wasn’t selling drugs. I grew up in a nice street in a two-parent household…my story was different from the ones being told by the young Black men who were launching the global phenomenon that would later become hip-hop.” 

Stating how most rappers come from a different background where they witness hardships and troubles, Will Smith mentioned he wasn’t anything like that. Growing up in a decent family, apparently affected Smith’s rap career and he was often slammed as an “illegitimate artist”. This led him to have an insecurity about himself. 

Will Smith
Smith wrote about his greatest insecurity that got him infuriated

I was somehow an illegitimate artist; they would call me ‘soft’, ‘whack’, ‘corny’, a ‘bubblegum rapper’, criticisms that violently infuriated me. Looking back, I realize I may have been projecting a little, but the reason I hated it so much was that they were unknowingly poking at the thing I most hated about myself, my sense that I was a coward.” 

Noting his greatest insecurity in his mémoire, Will Smith moved on with his narration about his early life and his parents. 

Read more: “He was all in on the Joker”: Will Smith Never ‘Met’ Jared Leto on Suicide Squad, Who Stayed in Character for 6 Months of the Shoot


Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Articles Published: 1349

Krittika is a News Writer at FandomWire with 2 years of prior experience in lifestyle and web content writing. With her previous works available on HubPages and Medium, she has woven over 1000 stories with us, about fan-favorite actors, movies, and shows. Post-graduate in Journalism and Honors-graduate in English Literature, when this art enthusiast isn't crafting your next favorite article, she finds her escapism in coffee, fiction, and the Wizarding World.