Will Smith, James Corden kick off first 'Carpool Karaoke' with impeccable rapping

When Will Smith and James Corden hit the “Carpool” lane, you just can’t sit. You got to get jiggy wit’ it.

The twosome kicked off the first of 20 episodes of Carpool Karaoke: The Series, derived from the popular Late Late Show segment. Each Tuesday, two 12- to 25-minute episodes will be released on Apple Music’s subscription-based streaming service.

For their ride, Corden enlisted the help of a marching band to provide “surround sound” for Smith’s Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It from his 1997 album Big Willie Style. The entertainers also masterfully performed Boom! Shake the Room.

They also chatted about Smith’s beginnings as a teen rapper and Barack Obama’s approval to have Smith play him in a movie. Apparently, as Smith puts it, “(Obama) felt confident that I had the ears for the role.”

Unlike his late night segment, Corden will not be featured in each ride for the series that pairs celebrities on a musical adventure.  

Corden told USA TODAY the new format has greater guest potential. 

“We realized there was an opportunity to open it out and make it with lots of people who seem to be keen to get in the car” but haven’t racked up any gold albums,” Corden said. There’s no host, either, “so that you’re peering in on two people’s lives in this very intimate setting.”

Will Smith, James Corden kick off first 'Carpool Karaoke' with impeccable rappingEntertainment

Based on the viral segment from James Corden’s “The Late Late Show,” a new series, entitled “Carpool Karaoke” is scheduled to premiere on August 8th on Apple Music. USA TODAY

The carpool lane guest list includes star-studded groupings like Chelsea Handler and Blake Shelton; Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow and Will.i.am; Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith; and Shaquille O’Neal and John Cena. 

The first episode of Carpool Karaoke: The Series is currently available on Apple Music. 

Contributing: Bill Keveney

usatoday.com