13 Rappers Who Recently Scored a Movie Role
Rising from the ash and rubble of the South Bronx and spreading throughout the culture, hip-hop has became a pastime for urban youth looking for a way to express themselves through the arts. From there, hip-hop fully bloomed into a culture filled with talented people, most who had never gotten the chance to share their gifts outside the confines of a dope beat and some rhymes, dancing in the streets and painting the concrete jungle and all that surrounded it.
With the passage of time, hip-hop's appeal to the masses caught the attention of executives in other forms of entertainment, who began to tap the brightest stars of the hip-hop community to help make their product translate to youth and young adults wrapped up in the cool of the culture. One of the earliest adopters of hip-hop was Hollywood, with early films like Beat Street and Krush Groove setting the foundation for rap's invasion of Tinseltown.
Although rappers were initially assigned bit parts and cameos for glamour's sake, the tide began to turn in the early 1990s, with heavyweight rap talent like Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Will Smith and Tone Loc being among the first to have their mugs grace the silver screen in serious movie roles. By the middle of the decade, seeing a rapper in a movie or on your favorite sitcom had become standard fair and further helped boost the profile of hip-hop and bridge the gap between the culture and mainstream America.
In 2016, hip-hop artists continue to test their mettle against the best thespians in the game and are still managing to hold their own while helping to broaden hip-hop's horizons. Here are a few rappers that have scored movie roles in recent years and others making big moves in 2016. Look for Nicki Minaj and more at a theater near you.