Over the years, countless rappers have had a shot at making the transition from beats to screens. For many, it transpired into something a little far off the long and fulfilling career in acting they imagined. However, the lucky few that proved their theatrical capability against the odds have continued to become central figures within the film industry. To celebrate the release of BrOTHERHOOD in cinemas 29th August, we take a look at the top 5 that managed to effortlessly become big screen icons in addition to their reputations in the rap game.
Undoubtedly one of the most celebrated movie stars…ever; there are few actors with the widespread appeal of this ex “Fresh Prince.” He refined his acting ability on the popular show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, before making a permanent hop to features with 1996 smash Independence Day. Even in the two decades since then, he’s delivered almost non-stop box office hits and earned a reputation as the crème de la crème for rappers who are trying to catch a break.
This notorious founding member of American rap group N.W.A, may have followed up the release of musical masterpiece Straight Outta Compton with a immensely successful solo career, but in the early 1990s, his film career arguably blew up just as big. He made his debut in Boyz n the Hood before headlining his own knockout franchises in the likes of Friday and Barbershop. Most recently, he’s put his passion into N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, where is son stars as Cube in his younger days.
It only took her debut album “All Hail the Queen”, to prove herself a force to be reckoned with in the music world. But it certainly didn’t just stop with songs; Latifah earned an Oscar nomination for her standout performance in Chicago and has appeared in several sensation films, including Set It Off, Bringing Down the House and big-screen musical Hairspray. Not bad for someone who had little acting experience before starring in Fox sitcom Living Single.
Former nominal frontman for hip hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Mark Wahlberg has come leaps and bounds since making his film debut in 1994 Renaissance Man. Presently, the rapper-turned-actor has become an indispensable instrument to many a box office hit, thanks to the likes of Boogie Nights, The Other Guys and Ted. Most notably, he earned an Oscar nomination for his role in The Departed and has established a successful run as a producer of Entourage and Boardwalk Empire.
It’s fair to say it’s been a good year for the rising grime MC, but it looks as if it may take another positive turn for Stormzy, with the Thornton Heath artist set to make his acting debut in new release BrOTHERHOOD.