DJ Jazzy Jeff plays a summertime parade of hits at Firefly on Saturday

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Delawareans have been represented every year at Firefly Music Festival, but never by someone as internationally beloved as DJ Jazzy Jeff. The Philadelphia native has called Delaware home for years, but this is the first time he’s taken the stage at the biggest festival in the state.

Fans were ready to show their love and enjoy an hourlong, late-afternoon dance party when DJ Jazzy Jeff packed the Pavilion Stage for a 5:15 p.m. Saturday set.

STORY: Smaller, younger crowd for Firefly Music Festival 2017

A lot of the fans in the overflowing open-sided tent weren’t alive when DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith won the Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 1989 – the first ever hip-hop Grammy. 

Shelby Benton, 24, of Middletown, was at the show, but his dad is the biggest fan in the family. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s “He’s the DJ I’m the Rapper” is probably the only hip-hop album his dad’s ever bought, Benton said, and it’s the reason Benton knew that DJ Jazzy Jeff was a Delawarean and could rattle off the titles of hits like “A Nightmare on My Street” and “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

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Fans from back in the day were shoulder to shoulder with 20-somethings as the DJ and producer launched into an hourlong set that started with a sample from the “Super Mario Brothers” song and Jayne Jordan rapping over it.

He teased fans with snippets of the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song and one of the duo’s biggest hits, “Summertime,” but stuck mostly to other artists, keeping the tent shaking with everything from Linkin Park’s “In the End” to the theme from “Beverly Hills Cop.”

By mid-set, part of the crowd had migrated away from the tent, but it filled up quickly with new fans who heard hits like Major Lazer, DJ Snake and MO’s “Lean On” and ran in to join the party. 

“I think he understood the crowd,” said Whitney Vos, 24.

Vos, a University of Delaware graduate, has been at every Firefly, as has fellow UD grad Jeff Duplechain, 23. They use Firefly as a way to catch up with friends, like Benton.

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