Apart from its gory and spine-tingling scares, A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is also known for creating the perfect musical scores for its films. But when it comes to A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, the film has a different history. Many may not know that the film didn’t get just one but two songs from different groups of singers – the Fat Boys created the official tie-in song “Are You Ready For Freddy?” and Will Smith made the unsanctioned “A Nightmare on My Street” as the Fresh Prince with DJ Jazzy Jeff. Whether it was its star power or its catchy lyrics, it was the latter that ended up being more successful. But unfortunately, the music video remained unreleased due to a lawsuit from the owners of the franchise.
On one hand, the rap group, The Fat Boys, worked with the studio backing A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and created the song, actually containing guest vocals by Robert Englund himself, to promote the film. The song was also played when the end credits of the film rolled. But while the song was also climbing the charts, its progress was hampered by the increasing popularity of another unauthorized song based on the franchise – “A Nightmare on My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith. Check out the unreleased music video below:
As detailed by Rolling Stone, the story is that DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith did try to convince the studio to put their official stamp on their song. Though the studio refused, the song was still made and released on the rap duo’s new LP, He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper, at the time. They further violated the copyright claims of the franchise by making a music video of the song featuring Will Smith. The song goes on to feature Freddy Krueger and even explicitly details his attire in A Nightmare on Elm Street films among other things.
In a chat with The Boombox in 2018, DJ Jazzy Jeff had highlighted that before the whole legal drama began, they offered that the studio could also use their song in the movie given its popularity amongst the masses. The song itself had reached No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985. But soon after the music was aired by MTV a few times, New Line Cinema put an end to it by filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith.
In the legal document, New Line Cinema submitted, the production company highlighted that it would suffer “irreparable harm” as A Nightmare on My Street video would inadvertently target the success rate of the Fat Boys song for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 as they were in direct competition with each other. As they were both competing in the rap music market, MTV wouldn’t be able able to favor one over the other and hence their song would get less than the deserved promotional time despite being an official release.
The court also didn’t take DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith’s side as it refused to accept their claim that their music video was a parody of A Nightmare on Elm Street films because it only appeared to serve as “an entertainment and promotional function” for the song. The dispute was eventually resolved out of court and every copy of the music video was destroyed with such meticulous care that for decades it never surfaced until 2018 when the Youtube channel, DJJazzyJeffVEVO, reposted the above video which starts with explicitly clarifying that it is not “authorized, licensed, or affiliated with A Nightmare on Elm Street films.” Looks like the disclaimer has been enough to appease the franchise as it is still up for fans of Will Smith to watch!