Thursday, November 1, 2007

Top Ten Rappers Turned Actors

BIG CED's Top Ten Rappers Turned Actors
as seen on The Industry CoSign (

As I was watching Law and Order: SUV the other night, the episode that Ludacris was on, I had to commend him on his acting skills. So this brought a topic to mind. Who are the Top Ten rappers turned actors. So, I decided to do a list and see if you agree or can add others to it. Keep in mind that I am only listing 10 although I can probably give you as many as 20, just off the top of my head!

Keep in mind that I do know there are some that are coming up now that could conceivably make and even top this list, but as of this writing, I stand by my choices! Prove me wrong!!!

In no particular order (or maybe it is…..)

Mark Wahlberg aka Marky Mark- Now you can’t front, you couldn’t stand Marky Mark or his damn Funky Bunch but this Boston Beantown resident does his thing in the acting realm! I am quite sure that most of you didn’t even realize that Mark Wahlberg was indeed Marky Mark. Check out Four Brothers, The Departed, The Italian Job and Three Kings.

Chris Bridges aka Ludacris- As I mentioned above, Luda did a great job on that Law and Order episode as Darius Parker, relative of another Top Ten entry, Ice T. Although he doesn’t have an extensive acting resume, I think he will be one of the great rappers who is also a great actor in years to come. Check out Crash, Hustle and Flow and 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Tracey Morrow aka Ice T- For a man to be labeled a pimp and was responsible for a group that made a song called Cop Killer, his most memorable roles are that of a cop. But that’s the trademark of an actor, to play a character that isn’t in your everyday being. Now, I have to admit, seeing him in New Jack City, gave me pains as I just KNEW this would be his last acting job (don’t front, you thought the same thing!), but lo and behold, he is still around and has turned into a decent actor. (I KNOW some of you will disagree!). Check out his stints on New York Undercover, Trespass and Ricochet.

O’Shea Jackson aka Ice Cube- Amerikkka’s Most Wanted had a great start with his starring role in John Singleton’s debut movie, Boyz N Da Hood. From Cube’s performance in this movie, you knew he would continue on this path but I didn’t realize he would actually become a major player in Hollywood! Check out Barbershop 1 and 2, Friday, Next Friday and Friday After Next and All About The Benjamins.

Dana Owens aka Queen Latifah- Now I am sure that 99.4% of you will agree with me when I state that Queen Latifah is one of the best and most positive images Hip-Hop can lay claim to! This multi-talented woman has shown that the many hats she wears are worn well. Her body of work speaks for itself, even a brief appearance in Juice. Check out Beauty Shop, Chicago and The Bone Collector.

Will Smith aka Fresh Prince- Who would have figured that a skinny big-eared rapping kid from Philly would end up making more money per movie than a more accomplished and trained actor such as Denzel Washington. Yes, Hip-Hop’s own Fresh Prince, who admittedly went through his first million as fast as he made it, catapulted himself into Hollywood’s stratosphere by being himself on his own self-titled TV show and took that charm and character to make himself an unlikely movie star. Check out The Pursuit of Happyness, Hitch and Six Degrees of Separation.

James Todd Smith aka LL Cool Jay- In Krush Groove, he couldn’t live without his radio, but he has proven otherwise as he has risen to stay on top of his game in the cross section of Hollywood and HollyHood. The man who has been around (As a recording artist) longer than the likes of Public Enemy, EPMD and The Beastie Boys, still has a grip on some roles in Hollywood. One of the very few recording artists to star in his own sitcom, he is still recording AND filming. Talk about a legend! Check out In Too Deep, Halloween H2O and Deliver Us From Eva.

Darryl Mitchell aka Chill- I am quite positive you didn’t know Chill was part of the Uptown group, Groove B. Chill back when people were just finding out about Heavy D and The Boyz, Teddy Riley and Al B. Sure!. This rapper turned actor has starred in more TV series than any rapper alive (to my knowledge)! An unfortunate accident didn’t stop him from acting either, which makes his feat an even more accomplished one! Check out House Party 1 and 2, The John Larroquette Show and Veronica’s Closet.

Calvin Broadus aka Snoop Dogg- This man is another multi-talented, everywhere seen type of guy that exudes attention in whatever he is involved in! His laid-back persona and pimp talk is always ready to be displayed whether film, commercial, records or video! Check out Soul Plane (ok, maybe not Soul Plane), Starsky and Hutch and The Wash.

Earl Simmons aka DMX- Dark Man X has made a transition from rapper to actor, though his recent ‘driving’ and alleged ‘drug use’ may have hampered his ability to directly compete for the jobs that some on this list are getting. Check out Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds and Belly.

I know most of you are screaming, ‘But what about Tupac? I do agree, but since his death shortchanged his career, I thought I would keep it to the ones I listed.

And for real fans of rappers/actors, I am sure a few of you will ask about Mos Def, who I feel is the second best rapper/actor behind Mark Wahlberg (Yes, I CED it, Marky Mark!). For those who don’t know, Mos Def was actually an actor (God Bless The Child- 1988) BEFORE he became a rapper…. So, he wasn’t included on my list…

And, yes, I am sure I missed a few, this is where you come in! And on a sad note, I feel T.I. was next up on this list. Hopefully, he has great lawyers, otherwise……


G-Bo said...

A couple of names that were left out I suppose are no longer relevant to the game today per se but I remember thinking 'Wow...The Fat Boys are in a movie!' Lol...also...Kid & Play! C'mon yall...them dudes were funny as hell in those House Party flicks. Still, all of this to say that Hip-Hop has turned a lot of people who would've been little more than hood rich into real stars...G-Bo

SheNotes Entertainment said...

Oh yea!!! Kid & Play..LOL. WOW!

william said...

Yeah...Kid & Play Fa' sho!...but out of that list there are really only few in my opinon (everybody got one like,a whuuut!) the Queen(Jersey all day!) Mos Def ( remember the Cosby Mysteries, hope I spelled that right), Cube (Friday kilt it!), The Fresh Prince ("Rock The House" for all you yungstaz and don't knows!), Pac (my favorite movies were Juice and the one he played with the Belushi kid) other than that, wRap it up B! let these young black talented and real actors get they money! I mean did ya'll see Puffy in Monsters Ball (ya'll forgot about that LOL)


D.O. aka "take it light and when I can take it twice"

Renegadepr said...

Not only was Daryl "Chill" Mitchell
the first rap artist to "crossover" as an actor, "House Party 1 & 2" was based on the antics of his group Groove B. Chill (a 3 man rap crew BTW). The Hudlin Bros. cast Kid N'Play as the lead actors based on their growing popularity as rap stars because Groove B. Chill were still virtually unknowns. Daryl "Chill" Mitchell's also recently starred opposite Denzel Washington in "Inside Man."

SheNotes Entertainment said...

Yes Renegade PR, drop the knowledge queen!

G-Bo said...

OMG...Here's another one that I about shorty from Sister Act 2...AKA...Lauren Hill!!! Damn...not only is she not an actress anymore, but she's not even a RAPPER anymore!!! Sigh...what a pity.

william said...

Heavy D was nice in Roc, LOL! oh what about Pras...or Ja wait Tyrese as an actor and rapper...Treacherous 3 in Beat Street or the cast of Crush I know, The Furious Five in Wild Style...lil' Romeo in anything (he might be dope in baketball tho")...T.I in ATL or Outkast (even tho that one part wit' 3000 doing "she sits in my lap" was ILL) Hip Hop $ever!

D.O. the Fabulous Drifter

SheNotes Entertainment said...

Lauren Hill? Riiiiight. Ya'll forgot about Puffy in Monster's Ball??? Ok, maybe not.

Bionic DJ said...

It's good to see people expand their careers. Rappers and other types of performers are ultimately, by nature "entertainers" and they have found their niche away from music.

This beats the Hell out of stories like Kool Keith's!