As much as I despise rappers as actors and Beyonce in movies, there are always exceptions to the rule. Over the years, rappers have ventured into acting as if it were hidden fine print in their recording contracts. Nevertheless some MC’s have actually taken the time to take required acting classes, in-turn delivering great performances on the big screen. I can name a few movies that absolutely sucked (Belly, Just Wright) but why focus on the negative? Here are 10 movies that starred rappers that deserve some recognition for stellar (or as stellar as it gets for a “ractor” rapper/actor*)performances.
Movie: Four Brothers
Ractor: (Marky Mark)Mark Wahlberg(sorry Andre 300) as Bobby Mercer
Released in 2005 with an all-star cast: Tyrese, Andre 3000, Mark Wahlberg and Terrance Howard, Four Brothers bordered the line of ridiculousness and cool. Mark Wahlberg’s performance of a hot-headed rebellious foster son seemed effortless.
Movie: 16 Blocks
Ractor: Mos Def as Eddie Bunker
Bruce Willis and Mos Def? However these two managed to come together in a film about a lazy cop and framed baker is irrelevant–their chemistry and acting abilities overshadow the randomness. Although Mos Def’s voice was truly annoying and almost unbearable it added to the innocence of his character.
Ractor: Eminem as Rabbit
Eminem didn’t have to dig too deep to get into character as Rabbit, the story was about him. But it’s Eminem’s dedication to the role that gets him a spot on this list.
Ractor: Ice Cube as Craig Jones
The Hood classic “Friday” had a budget of $3.5 millions dollars and grossed over $20 million dollars in its first week. Craig and his always high side-kick Smokey had to come up with $200 by the end of the night for Big Worm. All hell broke loose when big-bully ex wrestler Debo’s money was stolen out of his apartment. Craig knocked him the f*ck out just like he did his first major acting role.
Movie: Bad Boys
Ractor: Will Smith(The Fresh Prince) as Mike
Having grossed over 10 billion dollars in sales for all his blockbusters Will Smith is one of the greatest “raptors” of all time. Will Smith played his bad boy, sexy, cool cop role to a tee!
Movie: Paid In Full
Ractor: Camron as Rico
Cam’ron proves to us over and over that he is smarter then his dumb rhymes. Cam played the perfect Rico. Coming from slinging rocks before rap he really embodied his corrupt character.
Movie: New Jack City
Ractor: Ice-T as Scotty Appleton
Ice-T, going against all his “I hate cop” verses delivered a believable police officer performance. You would of though he would play either Pookie or the drug dealer but he went the other way.
Ractor: Tupac as Bishop
Tupac Shakur attended a performing arts school with Jada Pinkett while growing up so you can expect nothing less than a great performance on the screen. His character in Juice was ruthless and as gutter as it gets, he truly made the transition from rapping into acting look easy!
Movie: Boyz In The Hood
Ractor: Ice Cube as Darren
Ice Cube and John Singleton teamed up for the first time with “Boyz In The Hood” and a hood classic was born. Ice Cube delivered a riveting performance of a young man straight out of jail living a life of gang-banging. His greasy Jheri curl couldn’t even steal the scene!
Movie: Set It Off
Ractor: Queen Latifah as Cleo
The number one spot belongs to and is very well deserved by Queen Latifah. Men and women both respect “Cleo” for how she went out in “Set It Off.” She played a lesbian bank robber with more balls than the typical male. The Queen owned the movie with her brash personality and corn-rows. This movie of all women tops off our list!
Bow Wow- Roll Bounce
Rah Digga- 13 Ghosts
Roll the credits…
Rappers Turned Actors