As everyone in the hip hop game knows, nobody’s buying music anymore. Hollywood, on the other hand, is basically printing its own currency. So what does the shrewd emcee do? Ask T.I., whose movie “Takers” comes out next month. In a recent interview, Tip said he wants to start making the transition from full-time rapper to full-time actor. You know, become the next Will Smith, so he can chill out in Hollywood “only in the company of fine women” like Queen Latifah.
But it’s not easy to make the leap from rapper to actor, especially if you try to jump back for an album or two. Of course, that hasn’t stopped a slew of dudes from trying. Click below for our list of the 10 rappers who could leave the hustle for Hollywood and wouldn’t miss a beat. (Sorry Beanie, “State Property” has already squashed your chances).
1. T.I. – You can’t go any higher on the hip hop hierarchy than the King and there’s not much left for T.I. to do with rap. Tip’s had limited experience on the big screen so far, but all reports are saying that his performance in “Takers” will change that. He could have a long career ahead of him, especially since he’ll be able to get away with playing a teenager for about the next 10 years.
2. Xzibit – X to the Z showed us he wasn’t all ice grills and gravely voice when he started the TV custom car craze with “Pimp My Ride.” Since then he’s shown his range with turns in everything from “The X-Files” to “Gridiron Gang.” He might’ve been doomed to playing the sucker emcee in “8 Mile,” but he cut his braids and opened himself up to a world of opportunity. There’s got to be a DIY Network show in this man’s future.
3. Will.I.Am – Will.I.Am shocked us all with his role as John Wraith in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and we wouldn’t be surprised if he’s being approached for other roles in big-budget films. Plus, he’s got the underground and pop respect, so he’s a bankable star who appeals to all audiences.
4. Cam’ron – You can’t take any of the “Killa Season” DVDs as fair representations of Cam’s skill as an actor. When you’re writing, directing and starring, something—or everything—is bound to suffer. But if you saw Cam in “Paid in Full” you know that his presence on the screen is just as powerful as his presence on the mic. The Diplomats may be back together, but we think it’d be just as exciting if Cam moved to Hollywood.
5. Common – We don’t know if it’s the magical pixie dust that Erykah Badu sprinkled on him that got Hollywood calling, or the fact that a clean cut, bald headed black man with a sharp goatee will always find work. Regardless, Common’s almost tied with his old nemesis Ice Cube for the most big-budget starring roles of any rapper in his generation.