Having already detailed the headshaking moments to come with this list, we thought we’d take a look back at past hip-hop artists whose acting has sullied what could have been otherwise solid flicks.
10. Busta Rhymes in Shaft
I can see why Sam Jackson hates working with rappers in movies. Busta screamed in his ear in damn near every scene. Bless you, Sam. You also worked with 50 in Home Of The Brave.
9. 50 Cent in Home of the Brave
Fiddy + Iraq war drama + human emotion – Tony Yayo = confusion. That’s all.
8. Snoop Dogg in Starsky & Hutch
Granted, everyone in this movie version of a popular ’70s TV show was bad, but Huggie Bear was the role that Snoop was born to play. He does it every waking moment of his life. How could he not do it on camera?
7. Method Man in The Wackness
How are you the ONLY rapper-turned-actor in a movie about an era in which you were a star and still manage to fuck it up? Come on, Meth!
The Jamaican accent? You were on The Wire, for God’s sake.
(Not that I ever watched that show.)
6. Fat Joe in Empire
I love Joey Crack as an emcee. He’s so menacing that I hesitated to include him on this list. That said, anyone who makes John Leguizamo look like a young Bobby DeNiro in comparison is a terrible actor.
5. Dr. Dre in Training Day
Mind you, this is the film that earned Denzel Washington an Oscar for Best Actor. Dr. Dre’s performance in Training Day wasn’t especially bad. It was that he was just playing himself instead of a crooked cop. So rather than seeing Andre Young on screen echoing the sentiments renegade cops like the ones seen in Serpico, Infernal Affairs, or L.A. Confidential, he simply came off as the guy who slapped Dee Barnes.
4. LL Cool J in S.W.A.T.
LL in In The House was dope. It was like Charles in Charge, but with LL Cool J. LL Cool J as an member of a tactical police unit? That’s like trying to convince us that “Headsprung” was going to the next big slang word.
3. The RZA in Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai
No wait, The RZA’s seven second cameo in Jim Jarmuch’s tripped out film about an urban samurai was actually one of the best parts.
Speaking of the The RZA, he also held his own in the Clive Owen/Jennifer Aniston flick Derailed, unlike fellow rapper ternt actor, Xzibit.
Mr. X to the Z was the most non-threatening villain to grace the screen simply for that fact that he pulled that annoying Jimmy Fallon thing where he looks at the camera like when he was pimpin’ rides for MTV.
2. Ja Rule in The Fast and the Furious
Raise your hand if you remember Ja Rule. Ok, all six of you can put your hands down.
If you take The Fast and Furious for what it was, an endorsement for Honda then it’s actually not a bad movie. Unless of course, you take Rule’s cameo as an illegal street racer into account. Ja Rule fronting like he was a legit racer was almost has bad as him posing like he was a legit R&B singer rapper.
1. DMX in every movie that DMX has ever appeared in.
Aside from being unintentionally hilarious, do you know what Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds Cradle 2 the Grave, and Never Die Alone all have in common?
That’s right, DMX’s “Oscar worthy” performances.
Much like Dr. Dre in Training Day, Earl Simmons’s range as an actor only goes as far as his range as his rapper alter-ego. So while his character may have had the potential to show some depth, they always ending up looking like he’s waiting for the opportunity to bark at the camera times or rail on Nas.
But if you’re worried that X’s recent legal problems will take him away from the screen, rest easy as he’s got a few more projects in the works, including the release of the straight to video flick Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent.
Yeah, that’ll be good.
Check back soon for GIANT’s list of rappers that actually made movies worth watching.