“Prince Ali” by Will Smith
This is almost a word-for-word remake of the “Prince Ali” introduced by Walt Disney Records in 1992 for the original, animated version of Aladdin. The 2019, live-action take on Aladdin features rapper/actor Will Smith as Genie, with this rendition of “Prince Ali” fitting into that role, in which he recites it with a little bit of hip-hop flare.
But once again the content of the song – and thus its meaning – has remained basically unchanged. And in that regard, Prince Ali is someone who the singer (i.e. Genie) has suddenly exalted to the status of royalty and, as we can see from the song, an extremely-rich one at that. So this track serves the purpose of introducing Prince Ali to the fictional kingdom of Agrabah.
And along the way, Will Smith is bigging him up, introducing him as “a brand-new star” and someone the people will “love” and have to respect. He also presents Ali as someone who is super strong, absolutely fearless and “generous”. Furthermore, he refers to him as the ideal ruler, “amorous” and perhaps more than anything, as aforementioned, extremely-wealthy. In other words, he is announced by the singer as the perfect prince. And these praises fit perfectly into Ali’s ultimate scheme of impressing a certain princess.
Facts about “Prince Ali”
- Some fans of Aladdin were not ecstatic about Will Smith’s portrayal of Genie. For many of them, this is due to traditionally associating the character with the late actor/comedian Robin Williams (1951-2014), who was given a Golden Globe Special Achievement Award based on his performance. Moreover Smith sings the song instead of rapping, with the latter actually being his specialty.
- “Prince Ali” was written by Howard Ashman and regular Walt Disney composer Alan Menken.
- It is featured on Aladdin (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) and was released by Walt Disney Records with the album on 22 May 2019.