Born to Reign

Born to Reign
Studio album by Will Smith
Released June 25, 2002
Recorded 2001-2002
Genre Hip hop
Length 57:12
Label Columbia
Producer Tim & Bob, DJ Quik, Jerry Allen, Rico Anderson, Rob Chiarelli, Tony Dofat, Ron Feemster, Herb Middleton, Jimane Nelson, Greg Pagani, Poke, Rick Rock, Mark Sparks
Will Smith chronology
Born to Reign
Greatest Hits
Singles from Born to Reign
  1. "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)"
    Released: June 25, 2002
  2. "1000 Kisses"
    Released: December 23, 2002
Professional ratings
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyB−[3]
The Guardian[4]
Rolling Stone[7]
Slant Magazine[8]
USA Today[9]

Born to Reign is the third solo studio album released by American rapper Will Smith. The album was released on Columbia Records in the United States on June 25, 2002 and was considered a drop from his previous level of success, having only reached Gold status by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), whereas Big Willie Style and Willennium both reached multi-platinum status. This album includes "Black Suits Comin'", which was also the lead single from the original motion picture soundtrack of Men in Black II. The album also spawned the European hit single "1000 Kisses", which features vocals from Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith.



Allmusic gave the album a four star rating, claiming: "It'd be inaccurate to call Will Smith's third album the musical equivalent of Ali -- a bid for artistic credibility from an artist so assured and smooth, it's been easy to pigeonhole him as merely a pop artist -- but given the range and harder edge on Born to Reign, it's hard not to think of it at first. Make no mistake, this is not as serious as Ali, nor is it a record whose first intent is to enlighten and educate. It's a fun, pop-leaning record, much like his first two records, and never is it afraid to return to the sounds and styles that brought the former Fresh Prince big hits, but among comfortably familiar jams, Smith stretches his legs. Some of the hip-hop hits harder; there's a touch of reggae; he even appropriates a bit of a Ricky Martin vibe on "I Can't Stop." It's a small but significant change, and while it doesn't result in a record that flows as effortlessly, or giddily, as Willennium, it's easy to appreciate the effort to stretch, because even if all the experiments aren't necessarily successful, however, sometimes, the idea is better than the execution, it does reinvigorate the Smith signature pop-rap sound, apart, oddly, from the theme for Men in Black 2, "Black Suits Comin'," the only cut in this vein to fall flat, and results in another solid record from Smith. Maybe not as consistent as its predecessors, but still enjoyable in its familiar turf, while provoking admiration for its ambition, even when it's not always satisfying. Not a bad way to stretch."[1]


Born to Reign debuted at number 13 on the US Billboard 200, selling 60,000 copies in its first week.[10] On July 26, 2002 the album has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). As of April 2005, the album sold 237,000 copies in the US.[10]


The album was released as a copy-protected disc, which reportedly did not only prevent the contents of the disc from being copied, but froze users' computers after they attempted to listen to it via their CD-ROM drives. This resulted in complaints of lost computer files due to the album's protection element.[1]

Track listing

No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Born to Reign (Intro)"  Rock, Smith 1:53
2. "Act Like You Know"  Hutter, Iverson, Kelley, Robinson, Rambert, Schult, Smith 4:01
3. "I Can't Stop"  Barnes, Olivier, de Plata, Iverson, Reyes, Reyes, Smith 4:57
4. "Jaden's (Interlude)"    0:55
5. "1,000 Kisses" (featuring Jada Pinkett Smith)Barnes, Hepburn, McClain, Olivier, Pinkett-Smith, Smith, Vandross 4:17
6. "Willow Is a Player"  Adams, Bennett, Bennett, Bennett, Benymon, Brisby, Dofat, Lewis, Poindexter, Poindexter, Smith 3:48
7. "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)" (featuring Tra-Knox)Bennett, Bennett, Bennett, Feemster, Smith, Sparks 4:19
8. "How da Beat Goes On"  Adams, Anderson, Benjamin, Bennett, Bennett, Bennett, Benymon, Brisby, Smith 4:14
9. "Block Party"  Ginyard, Iverson, Lewis, Middleton, Payne, Smith, Stewart 4:13
10. "Give Me Tonite"  Adams, Benymon, Brisby, Iverson, Kelley, Robinson, Smith, Williams 3:41
11. "I Gotta Go Home"  Adams, Bennett, Bennett, Bennett, Benymon, Brisby, Nelson, Smith, Sparks 4:31
12. "Maybe"  Adams, Bennett, Bennett, Bennett, Benymon, Brisby, Smith, Sparks 4:07
13. "Nod Ya Head (The Remix)" (featuring Christina Vidal & Tra-Knox)Bennett, Bennett, Bennett, Feemster, Smith, Sparks 3:43
14. "Momma Knows"  Bennett, Bennett, Bennett, Smith, Wilson 3:57
Total length:
Sample credits


Chart (2002) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 13
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 13


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[11] Gold 237,000[10]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. 1 2 3 Allmusic review
  2. Blender review
  3. Entertainment Weekly review
  4. The Guardian review
  5. Q (9/02, p. 114) - 3 stars out of 5 - "... He pushes things on a little from 1999's WILLENIUM.
  6. RapReviews review
  7. "Rolling Stone review". Archived from the original on 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
  8. Slant Magazine review
  9. USA Today review
  10. 1 2 3 Whitmire, Margo (2005-04-06). "50's 'Massacre' Staves Off Beck's 'Guero'". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  11. "American album certifications – Will Smith". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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