Smith is starring as the Genie in Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of Disney‘s beloved 1992 animated movie, which will officially be released in cinemas on Friday (May 24). The actor is taking on a role made famous by the late Robin Williams, who performed the voice of the Genie in the 1992 original.
The song ‘Friend Like Me’ features in the new film, with Smith giving his take on the acclaimed Alan Menken and Howard Ashman-written song. That version of ‘Friend Like Me’ has now been released as part of Aladdin‘s new soundtrack, as has a special ‘End Title’ version which features Khaled.
You can hear both versions of ‘Friend Like Me’ below, starting with the Khaled-less one.
Speaking about recording the Khaled-featuring take on ‘Friend Like Me’, Smith said in a press release: “I went into the studio the first day and I really wanted to play with it to see if I could add something to it. Literally 30 minutes in the studio, and started to play with the song [and] the 94/96 BPM range. That BPM range is right old school hip hop.
“So I grabbed The Honey Drippers’ ‘Impeach Your President’ and I had them throw that breakbeat under there. I messed around with that. And I messed around with Erik B. & Rakim’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’ under ‘Friend Like Me.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m home!’ I started playing with the hip hop flavour, and the Genie was really born in my mind from the music.”
Khaled, meanwhile, released his new star-studded album ‘Father of Asahd’ last week.