Reigning king of the Internet Will Smith would never have met Michael Jackson if it wasn’t for an outburst from Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight, the star says.
Smith recounted his meeting with the King of Pop in a vlog on his popular YouTube channel, telling viewers that the event went down years ago at the BET Awards, though it isn’t clear when exactly it all happened. He claims to have spotted Jackson from across the room at the ceremony, and found an open path to make his way over and introduce himself to the star, who he called his “idol.”
The plan fell apart as Smith was en route, however, due to a disruption in the crowd that Smith said came from Knight. What Knight may have done is unclear, but it prompted Smith’s security team to push the actor into a closet to wait until the commotion passed.
“[Knight]’s still in jail, right?” Smith joked. “Make sure Suge’s still in jail if I’m going to tell this story.”
Knight is currently being held in the Los Angeles County Jail on murder and attempted murder charges leveled following a hit-and-run incident in 2015. The rap mogul allegedly ran down and murdered Terry Carter and injured another man who survived outside a Compton restaurant in January that year. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Back at the BET Awards, Knight’s alleged behavior was serendipitous for Smith, who ended up in a closet with with none other than Michael Jackson. As Smith said in his vlog, Jackson had his own take on Knight.
“Suge’s always trippin’,” Smith said as Jackson, affecting a fine-tuned impersonation of the late pop star. “All that success and he can’t figure out how to be happy.”
The pair, Smith added, also discussed comic books, which left Smith at a loss. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to ask about the moonwalk, or Jackson’s brother, Tito.
“I don’t know nothing about no comic books, but I’m here with Michael Jackson. I ain’t gonna tell him that,” he said.
The meeting ended as quickly as it began, with Jackson’s security whisking the King of Pop away like they “never saw the Fresh Prince” before. Though Jackson said he would see Smith around, the pair never met again, and he died in June 2009.
“That was the only time I ever met Michael Jackson,” Smith said. “I guess I got Suge Knight to thank for it.”
The video is the latest hit for Smith, who finally joined social media last year and kickstarted his profiles with an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Since then, his Instagram and YouTube accounts have grown dramatically, 14.3 million and 1.7 million subscribers each.