"In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
And all shootin some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys
Who were up to no good
Startin making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
She said 'You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air'
I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror
If anything I can say this cab is rare
But I thought 'Now forget it' - 'Yo homes to Bel Air'
I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the cabbie 'Yo homes smell ya later'
I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air"
These lyrics have boggled my mind for years. How much was the cab ride from West Philadelphia to Bel-Air, CA?
Now I know the extended version had the airplane ride, BUT!, the networks shortened the title sequence for most of the series' run. For the first few episodes of the show stanzas one to three and stanzas six and seven were used. Beginning with Episode #9 (titled "Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (2)"), only the first two and the last two stanzas of the song were used. The change to the theme song allowed for longer episodes to be created. Making the song's lyrics seem like the Fresh Prince took a cab from one side of the USA to the other. This was the seed of the mathematical monster that grew in me for years.
Just to also add in, I HATE MATH!
My idea to solve this beast came one night that my friend Seth and I took a cab ride in San Francisco,CA with a few friends. We just got out of Oktoberfest at Fort Mason. We realized we had to get to the Sunset district. The whole trip was about 8 miles/ 13 KM, and was supposed to take about 20 minutes. This cabby was out for blood that night and got to Seth's apartment in a bout 10 minutes, crazy ass. The trip ended up costing us $25/ 17 Euro. I thought this was a crazy amount to charge for this distance, but we paid reluctantly in our drunken stupor. What really set the fire is that the night ended with channel surfing though "South Park" and "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air".
I know I have too much time on my hands to think of stupid things like this. But it is important to solve this in my nerdy ways. To prove my level of nerdiness, Han Shot first, and I also was one of the few (very few) that found out how many licks it took to get to the Tootsie-Roll center of a Tootsie-Pop. 738. I got a certificate from Tootsie when I was 10 years-old. It will hang right next to my Diploma and Bachelors Degree when I find it again.
So now think of that epic cab ride. Now read those lyrics up there again. West Philadelphia to Bel-Air,CA! That is 2800 Miles/ 4506 KM; over a day and a half of driving! 42 hours to be exact. Thats also not counting stopping for gas, rest and food. So we will continue this analysis at about 50 hours, to compensate for all of the previous stops factored in, plus Los Angeles' heavy traffic, since he "...pulled up to the house about 7 or 8". We know it is 7 or 8 PM because
the title sequence showed a dusky sky as he hopped out of the cab.
Now back to the math. The part I hate, but the part I need for this important analysis. I divided 2800 miles/ 4506 KM by 8, (8 for the amount of miles equal to $25/ 17 Euro) then multiplied 350 (the result) times 25 ($$$). I know you're lost, but trust me, I GOT THIS!
So to cab ride from West Philadelphia to Bel-Air,CA would have been $8750/ 5924.97 Euro. SUCCESS!
Damn! The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff must have had a killer side business, or The Fresh Queen must have been loaded. Thats not to mention tip and cabby's return to Philadelphia fee. OH! and we will say he got to Bel-Air on a Saturday night just to say that he would have left West Philadelphia at 6pm on Thursday. I'm sure it was an amazing, life changing trip for the two, but it was definitly hard for Freshy Fresh to leave his friends and family in Philadelphia and deal with the smell of the cab driver for 50 hours.