Andre 3000In my mind one of the most searing movie performances of the 90s was Ice Cube's work as Doughboy in Boyz n the Hood. Though Cuba Gooding Jr. always struck me as oddly actorly in his role, Cube (can I call you Cube?) was painfully, horrifyingly real, and totally devoid of artifice. I also have a vague memory of being impressed by Tupac in Gridlock'd, but they were the only rappers of whose acting I was really aware.

Now, however, rappers are overrunning the silver screen. Eminem is (sort of) a movie star, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, and Andre Benjamin (aka Andre 3000 of OutKast) are everywhere, and 50 Cent and Puffy - sorry, Diddy - won't go away. Is it just an omnivorous quest for fame that drives these men to movies, or is there something else behind it? In the article linked below, Nick Hasted suggests that the artificiality inherent in their personas makes the move to acting a logical one for the more self-aware figures of rap. Benjamin, for example, describes Andre 3000 as "a character I play." In addition, there is already a significant overlap between rap and the movies, from a rapper named Scarface to the overtly cinematic quality of albums and videos.

While it remains to be seen if anyone from the new crop of rapper/actors is as natural a talent as Ice Cube, it's unlikely the crossovers will end any time soon.

[via GreenCine Daily]
categories Movies, Cinematical