A definitive list of Hip Hop Actorsby They-Call-Me-Steve | created - 08 Sep 2014 | updated - 19 Mar 2016 | Public
A list of HipHop artists with prominent acting credits, I'm sure it'll grow (shooting for a top 100). I tried to avoid cameos, 'self' credits, R&b singers, etc... sometimes it's a judgement call. I added descriptions and film highlights.
I tried to arrange it in order of prominence, considering both their acting and their music, gave 'em a rating, add 'em up & graded on a curve. Would've preferred to base those ratings on HipHop skill / acting talent rather than success / quantity, but opinions clash and it would be far too subjective for a list like this. That said, disagree with a rating I gave? Argue your point, I'm listening, #'s not set in stone and subject to change, but again, judgement call.
Finally, I added a good number of 'honorable mentions' at the bottom, however I couldn't rate them the same way. Essentially, those honorable mentions consist of actors who aren't exactly HipHop artists, but still contribute to the culture in some way, or represent the HipHop community in their acting work regularly.
1. Will Smith
Music_department | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden ...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 10 Say what you will about the direction his HipHop career has taken over the years, but there is no denying that the Fresh Prince is the King of HipHop actors in Hollywood. Highlights include : The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (TV Series) Six Degrees of Separation Bad Boys 1 & 2 Men In Black 1, 2 & 3 Independence Day Ali The Pursuit of Happyness Hancock Seven Pounds
2. Ice Cube
Soundtrack | Friday
Ice Cube was born in South Central Los Angeles, to Doris (Benjamin), a custodian and hospital clerk, and Hosea Jackson, a UCLA groundskeeper. He first came to public notice as a singer and songwriter with the controversial and influential band N.W.A. His compositions with that group included many ...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 10 Some may argue that as a rapper, his Hollywood career maybe softened him up a little. No matter, Ice Cube earned his respect in both fields, and his resume - consisting of both classic records and blockbuster film credits - speaks for itself. Side note, an NWA biopic is on the way and his own son and rapper in his own right, is cast as a young Ice Cube. Highlights include : Boyz n the Hood Higher Learning Friday 1, 2 & 3 The Players Club Three Kings All About the Benjamins Barbershop 1 & 2 Are We There Yet? (Movies & TV Series) 21 & 22 Jump Street
Actress | Hairspray
Often considered hip-hop's first lady (though some would attribute that to Roxanne Shanté), the woman behind the moniker Queen Latifah was born Dana Elaine Owens on March 18, 1970, in East Orange, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Rita (Bray), a teacher, and Lancelot Owens Sr. She came from a ...
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 10 Queen of HipHop actresses in Hollywood, Native Tongue MC Queen Latifah has shown many talents, making smooth transitions from rapper to actress to singer to model to talk show host, and seems to do it all quite lovely. Highlights include : House Party 2 Set It Off Living Single (TV Series) Chicago Bringing Down the House Barber & Beauty Shop Hairspray Just Wright Joyful Noise
4. LL Cool J
Actor | Deep Blue Sea
L.L. Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968, in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, the son of Ondrea Griffith and James Louis Smith, Jr. Todd, as he was called, did not have a very happy childhood. At the age of four, he saw his mother and grandfather shot by his own father. After they...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 9 One of the earlier HipHop artists to make a serious go at acting, LL has an extensive list of credits from supporting roles to big budget films and a couple of prominent TV roles as well. Highlights include : Krush Groove In the House (TV Series) Halloween H20: 20 Years Later Deep Blue Sea In Too Deep S.W.A.T. Any Given Sunday Grudge Match NCIS: Los Angeles (TV Series)
5. Tupac Shakur
Soundtrack | Poetic Justice
Born in New York City, Tupac grew up primarily in Harlem. In 1984, his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he became good friends with Jada Pinkett Smith. His family moved again in 1988 to Oakland, California. His first breakthrough in music came in 1991 as a member of the group Digital ...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 8 Getting his start as a backup dancer/hypeman/part time MC with Digital Underground, it wasn't long before Tupac went solo and became an icon. As for film, had he lived longer, there's no telling how far Tupac might have made it in Hollywood. At the rate he was going and the talent he showed, Pac quite possibly would have topped this list. Beyond his acting, there are literally dozens of documentaries about Tupac. They are of various quality and mostly released posthumously. Highlights include : Juice Poetic Justice Above the Rim Bullet Gridlock'd Gang Related
Actor | New Jack City
The legendary gangsta hip-hop emcee Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his paternal aunt after the death of his father while he was in the sixth grade; his mother had died earlier when he was in the third grade....
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 8 Probably the first HipHop artist to make a big break in Hollywood. As a pioneer in HipHop, his transition into acting was a pretty big deal, at the time especially, and while not the greatest actor on this list, his credits keep growing. Highlights include : Breakin' New Jack City Ricochet Trespass Who's the Man? Tank Girl Leprechaun in the Hood 3000 Miles to Graceland Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series)
7. Yasiin Bey
Actor | The Italian Job
Regarded as one of hip-hop's most introspective and insightful artists, Mos Def has shaped a career that transcends music genres and artistic medium. Taking a cue from the Afrocentric stylings of the Native Tongues crew, which included De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and Andres ...
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 8 Although he made his name as an MC, little known fact is that Mos Def started out as an actor with some early TV credits. Since then he balances both nicely with both respected music and movie roles. Highlights include : The Cosby Mysteries (TV Movie & Series) Bamboozled Brown Sugar The Italian Job The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 16 Blocks Be Kind Rewind Cadillac Records Dexter (TV Series)
Actor | Wanted
First known as a rapper who became one of the more prominent voices in hip-hop's new millennium renaissance, Common later transitioned into acting. He was born in Chicago, and is the son of educator Dr. Mahalia Ann Hines and Lonnie Lynn, an ABA basketball player turned youth counselor.
On October 6,...
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 7 Garnering much respect as an MC, Common also has some decent supporting roles on his acting resume. From action to drama to comedy, he just needs to get cast in a few bigger roles and show off that versatility. He is also one of a few HipHop artists who holds an Oscar for music. Highlights include : Smokin' Aces American Gangster Street Kings Terminator Salvation Just Wright LUV The Odd Life of Timothy Green Hell on Wheels (TV Series) Selma Suicide Squad
Soundtrack | The Man with the Iron Fists
RZA was born on July 5, 1969 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Robert Fitzgerald Diggs. He has been married to Talani Rabb since August 29, 2009. He was previously married to Eboni Mills.
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 6 Wu-Tang member with mixed reviews as an actor, he has his moments, but nobody will deny his skills as a producer. Aside from acting, RZA makes a name for himself with film scores, his love for Martial-Arts films, and tried his hand at directing. Highlights include : Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Coffee and Cigarettes American Gangster Life Is Hot in Cracktown Funny People The Man with the Iron Fists Californication (TV Series) G.I. Joe: Retaliation Gang Related (TV Series)
10. Mark Wahlberg
Producer | The Fighter
American actor Mark Wahlberg is one of a handful of respected entertainers who successfully made the transition from teen pop idol to acclaimed actor. A Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for The Departed (2006) who went on to receive positive critical reviews for his performance in The Fighter (...
HipHop career: 5 --- Film career: 10 Although he had a huge hit and a couple albums before turning to acting, as a rapper - Marky Mark - he was a bit of a pop star joke, nobody is really gonna deny that. As an actor on the other hand, he found his true calling and thankfully was able to reinvent himself. Highlights include : The Basketball Diaries Boogie Nights Three Kings Rock Star The Departed Max Payne The Other Guys The Fighter Pain & Gain
11. André Benjamin
Actor | Four Brothers
André Benjamin was born on May 27, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Andre Benjamin.
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 5 Prolific musician, and though his film credits may be short, Andre 3000 has proven to be a pretty solid actor thus far. It's no surprise he has dabbled in some music based movies. Highlights include : Be Cool Four Brothers Revolver Idlewild Battle in Seattle Semi-Pro Jimi: All Is by My Side
Actor | Crash
Ludacris was born Christopher Brian Bridges in Champaign, Illinois, where he was raised, the son of Roberta Shields and Wayne Brian Bridges. At nine years old, he started rapping. He attended Emerson Middle School and, eventually, Oak Park and River Forest High School for his freshman year. ...
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 6 Luda is a charismatic MC from the South with a relatively small but decent acting resume, including his ongoing role in the Fast & Furious franchise. Beyond that, he shows some range with dramatic and comedic roles as well. Highlights include : Fast & Furious 2, 5, 6 & 7 Crash Hustle & Flow Fred Claus RocknRolla Max Payne Gamer
13. Sticky Fingaz
Actor | Flight of the Phoenix
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 7 One of a couple Onyx members to transition into acting, Sticky Fingaz has built up an extensive resume. He wrote and directed a couple of ambitious HipHop musicals along the lines of his 'Black Trash' solo album, which plays like a movie itself. Highlights include : Clockers Ride The Playaz Court Platinum (TV Series) Flight of the Phoenix Blade: The Series (TV Series) A Day in the Life Caught on Tape
14. Method Man
Actor | How High
Method Man was born on April 1, 1971 in Richmond [now Staten Island], New York City, New York, USA as Clifford Smith. He is an actor, known for How High (2001), Garden State (2004) and Method & Red (2004). He has been married to Tamika Smith since March 3, 2001.
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 5 Wu-Tang member, Method Man has turned up in solid supporting roles on bigger projects, and a few leading roles as well. Most notably perhaps was How High with partner in rhyme Redman, leading to a failed sitcom, but that didn't slow him down. Highlights include : Belly Black and White How High Soul Plane Method & Red (TV Series) The Wackness The Wire (TV Series) The Mortician The Sitter
15. Snoop Dogg
Actor | Turbo
Snoop Dogg was born in Long Beach, California, to Beverly (Tate) and Vernell Varnado, who was a mail carrier and singer. His parents were both originally from Mississippi. He got his name from his mother, who jokingly remarked that he looked like the Peanuts character Snoopy. Snoop is known ...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 5 More of a personality than an actor, Snoop Doggy Dogg has a large list of credits to his name, often typecast as comedic variations of himself, but every now and then they put him in something different. Highlights include : Half Baked Baby Boy Training Day Bones The Wash Starsky & Hutch Soul Plane The Tenants Mac & Devin Go to High School
16. 50 Cent
Soundtrack | Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Born in the South Jamaica section of Queens, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson has lived in New York City all his life. He was raised by his grandparents after his father ran out and his mother was shot when he was only eight. Growing up, the Queens rapper originally wanted to be a heavyweight boxer, but ...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 5 With a highly successful rap career, and a semi-biographical movie - Get Rich or Die Tryin' - 50 seems to have since made a serious attempt in transitioning to movies. The results vary from low budget straight to video action to a few dramatic roles, often working with some pretty big names. Highlights include : Get Rich or Die Tryin' 50 Cent: Bulletproof (Video Game) Home of the Brave Righteous Kill All Things Fall Apart Gun Freelancers Escape Plan
17. Fredro Starr
Actor | Save the Last Dance
Was 1/3 of the Hip Hop group Onyx, the group debuted in 1993, Onyx won Soul Train's 1993 Best Rap Album of the year over Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Fredro has offically retired from rap. He is now only concentrating on his budding acting career which spans a total of 10 years. His last 2 solo albums ...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 7 One of a couple Onyx members to transition into acting. Lots of straight to video movies and TV appearances with some stronger roles mixed throughout, especially early on, Fredro has built up a ton of acting credits under his name. Highlights include : Strapped (TV Movie) Clockers Sunset Park Moesha (TV Series) Ride Light It Up Save the Last Dance A Day in the Life The Eddie Black Story
18. Donald Glover
Actor | Solo: A Star Wars Story
The multi-talented Donald Glover is a writer, actor, musician, comedian, producer and director, who performs under the stage names Childish Gambino and mcDJ. He was born Donald McKinley Glover at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. His mother, Beverly (...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 7 Childish Gambino is not related to Danny Glover, despite rumors. Multi-talented in writing, acting, music and comedy. Still relatively new but with an accomplished body of work already, give him a couple more years and a couple more big projects and he probably climbs this list into the top 10. Highlights include : 30 Rock (TV Series) Community (TV Series) Mystery Team The Muppets The To Do List The Lazarus Effect Magic Mike XXL The Martian
19. Heavy D
Actor | Big Trouble
Heavy D was born on May 24, 1967 in Mandeville, Jamaica as Dwight Arrington Myers. He is known for his work on Big Trouble (2002), The Cider House Rules (1999) and Life (1999). He died on November 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 6 The overweight lover gained tons of respect as an MC before his untimely passing. Charismatic as he was it's no wonder his transition into acting was so smooth. No telling how far he could have gone in Hollywood if he were still here. Highlights include : New Jersey Drive The Deli Life The Cider House Rules Big Trouble Boston Public (TV Series) Larceny The Tracy Morgan Show (TV Series) Tower Heist
Soundtrack | Exit Wounds
DMX was born on December 18, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA as Earl Simmons. He was previously married to Tashera Simmons.
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 6 DMX had a decent run of action movies. The quality of those movies range from straight to video to big budget, but with an intense personality, action movies seems a logical fit. Highlights include : Belly Romeo Must Die Exit Wounds Cradle 2 the Grave Never Die Alone The Bleeding
21. Busta Rhymes
Actor | Halloween: Resurrection
Trevor George Smith Jr. (born May 20, 1972), known by his stage name Busta Rhymes, is an American rapper, singer, musician, record producer, record executive, and actor. Chuck D of Public Enemy gave him the moniker Busta Rhymes, after NFL and CFL wide receiver George "Buster" Rhymes. He is best ...
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 5 Lively, charismatic, respected MC, it's no wonder LONS MC Busta tried his hand at acting. He even got a few solid credits in there, but as an actor at least seems to have slowed down some. Highlights include : Who's the Man? Higher Learning Shaft Finding Forrester Halloween: Resurrection Full Clip Breaking Point
22. Tariq Trotter
Soundtrack | Zoolander 2
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 5 Black Thought, highly respected MC from The Roots. Critically acclaimed albums and the official house band on Jimmy Fallon's talk show since 2009. Successful music career and respectable acting career, with roles as classy as his his rhymes. Highlights include : Bamboozled Brooklyn Babylon Love Rome Explicit Ills Night Catches Us Yelling to the Sky On the Inside Get on Up The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (TV Series)
23. Daryl Mitchell
Actor | 10 Things I Hate About You
Daryl Mitchell was born on July 16, 1965 in The Bronx, New York, USA as Daryl Maurice Mitchell. He is known for his work on 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Galaxy Quest (1999) and Inside Man (2006). He has been married to Carol since 1998. They have four children.
HipHop career: 5 --- Film career: 8 Chill, from the group Groove B Chill, aside from maybe a couple early party jams, they never made much of a lasting impact in HipHop. He found better success in acting however, in TV especially, surpassing Kid N Play eventually, and even a paralyzing motorcycle accident can't slow him down. Highlights include : House Party 1 & 2 Here and Now (TV Series) The John Larroquette Show (TV Series) 10 Things I Hate About You Galaxy Quest Veronica's Closet (TV Series) Ed (TV Series) Inside Man Brothers (TV Series)
Actor | Feast
Anthony 'Treach' Criss was born on December 2, 1970 in East Orange, New Jersey, USA. He is an actor, known for Feast (2005), Money Talks (1997) and Nothing to Lose (1997). He was previously married to Pepa.
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 5 Naughty By Nature front man auditioned for the role of Bishop in Juice but they cast Tupac. He did get an uncredited part, and since then has built a big list of film credits, often supporting roles, a couple low budget leading roles, even a porn film. Highlights include : First Time Felon (TV Movie) Oz (TV Series) Empire Love and a Bullet Conviction (TV Movie) Feast A Day in the Life
25. Ja Rule
Actor | The Fast and the Furious
Ja Rule was born on February 29, 1976 in Hollis, Queens, New York City, New York, USA as Jeffrey Atkins. He is an actor, known for The Fast and the Furious (2001), Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) and Scary Movie 3 (2003). He has been married to Aisha Atkins since April 14, 2001. They have three ...
HipHop career: 6 --- Film career: 6 For a minute there, early 2000's, Ja Rule seemed to be everywhere. After his battles with 50 Cent as well some legal and financial troubles he fizzled out, but still pops up here and there. Highlights include : Turn It Up The Fast and the Furious Half Past Dead The Cookout 1 & 2 Assault on Precinct 13 Back in the Day I'm in Love with a Church Girl
Actor | Derailed
Xzibit was born in Detroit, where he lived until his mother passed away when he was only nine years old. At the age of ten, he began to rap, very personally because of the loss of his mother. At the age of 14, he got into trouble and was removed from his home for two years after his father refused ...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 5 A respected rap career with some modest movie credits to his name, Xzibit always seems to pop up in decent supporting roles. With a reality show like Pimp My Ride, his charisma shines. Highlights include : The Wash 8 Mile Pimp My Ride (TV Series) xXx: State of the Union Full Clip Gridiron Gang The X Files: I Want to Believe The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans
27. Kool Moe Dee
Soundtrack | Wild Wild West
Kool Moe Dee was born on August 8, 1962 as Mohandas Dewese.
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 4 Old school legend often credited as the first speed rhymer with Treacherous Three, Kool Moe Dee made a solid impact on HipHop before stepping away from the mic. His film career isn't outstanding, but with a memorable part in Beat Street, he's one of the first MC's to step in front of a camera. Highlights include : Beat Street Panther Gang Related Out Kold The New Guy
Actress | Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
Yo-Yo (born Yolanda Whittaker) has been among the most sophisticated and unpredictable female MCs around. She doesn't take an overtly feminist tack but urges young women to show sexual restraint and use their minds as well as their bodies.
Her introduction to the hip-hop game came with an appearance...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 5 You can't play with my Yo-Yo, she first made her presence known working with Ice Cube and had a pretty solid debut album. As an actress she never had any big roles, but always pops up in bit parts in some of the most noteworthy HipHop movies. Highlights include : Boyz n the Hood Who's the Man? Menace II Society Strapped (TV Movie) The Breaks Paper Soldiers Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Video Game)
29. Big Boi
Soundtrack | Idlewild
Big Boi was born on February 1, 1975 in Savannah, Georgia, USA as Antwon Andre Patton. He has been married to Sherlita Patton since March 23, 2003. They have three children.
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 3 Perhaps not the household name as partner in rhyme Andre 3000, Big Boi can still stand on his own, still garners a ton of respect as an MC as half of Outkast, and has a few solid film credits as well. Highlights include : ATL Idlewild Who's Your Caddy? The Cookout 2 (TV Movie)
Actor | Hollywood Homicide
Kurupt was born Ricardo Brown in Philadelphia, Pa. He moved to Long Beach, California, where he met and befriended such rappers as Snoop Dogg and Daz Dillinger. He worked as a rapper on "Death Row Records" (Label run by Marion 'Suge' Knight), releasing one album with Daz Dillinger titled "Tha Dogg ...
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 4 One half of Dogg Pound and one quarter of 4 Horsemen, Kurupt made some serious waves as a HipHop artist. While never starring in anything particularly noteworthy, he has accumulated a good amount of acting credits over the years. Highlights include : Half Past Dead 1 & 2 Dark Blue Keepin' It Real Hollywood Homicide I Accidentally Domed Your Son Brothers in Arms Cut Off A Day in the Life
Soundtrack | 8 Mile
Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in St. Joseph, Missouri, to Deborah R. (Nelson) and Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr., who were in a band together, Daddy Warbucks. He is of English, as well as some German, Scottish, and Swiss-German, ancestry. Marshall spent his early childhood being shoved ...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 2 Highly respected MC, but not much of an acting resume at all really, limited to mostly cameos as himself, it's almost hard to even justify his inclusion on this list. I had to for his prominence as an MC, his oscar, and because of his undeniably huge role in 8 Mile. I'm surprised he never tried to capitalize on an acting career after that. Highlights include : The Slim Shady Show (Video) The Wash 8 Mile Da Hip Hop Witch (Video) Funny People The Interview
Soundtrack | Dope
Q-Tip was born on April 10, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Johnathan Davis. He has been married to Michele Daves since November 10, 1990.
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 3 Highly respected HipHop artist from A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip doesn't have a huge acting resume, but made a noteworthy impact with his short role in Poetic Justice. Also noteworthy film wise is Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of ATCQ, the documentary about his music career. Highlights include : Poetic Justice Love Goggles Prison Song She Hate Me Holy Rollers Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of ATCQ (Documentary)
Actor | Degrassi: The Next Generation
Aubrey Drake Graham was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Dennis Graham, an African-American musician born in Memphis, Tennessee, and Sandi (Sher) Graham, a Canadian Jewish educator. As a young man, Drake appeared in several commercials, for such retailers as Sears and GMC. In 2001, Drake rose ...
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 3 Love him or hate him, Drake's success in music is undeniable. He started out acting on Canadian TV before making that transition, but aside from the occasional cameo seems to have moved away from acting for the most part. Highlights include : Degrassi: The Next Generation (TV Series) Conviction (TV Movie) Charlie Bartlett Ice Age: Continental Drift Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
34. MC Lyte
Actress | Girls Trip
A philanthropist who has presented almost $900,000 in scholarships over the past seven years, an actress on Power, Queen of the South, SWAT, and more, MC LYTE is ONLY female solo hip hop artist to receive the BET I Am Hip Hop ICON Award. First female to perform hip hop in the White House and first ...
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 4 Often considered one of the best Female MC's to ever do it, and with a lengthy career to prove it, Lyte's music career is never in question. She dabbles in acting with a good handful of credits to show for it, but has yet to truly find her breakthrough role. Highlights include : Fly by Night An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn Train Ride Civil Brand Playas Ball Half & Half (TV Series) The Dempsey Sisters
Soundtrack | Belly
Nas, born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones on September 14, 1973, is the son of Olu Dara, an unconventional jazz musician. At age nine he was a member of the Devastatin' Seven in the mid-1980s, the fruits of which can be heard on his 1994 debut, "Illmatic," which was released on Columbia/SME later that ...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 2 Arguably one of the most prolific MC's to ever touch the mic and still going strong. His main contributions to film may be the documentary about him, and his appearance in the hood favorite Belly. Acting credits are few, but given his success as an MC, it's no surprise Nas was able to dabble in acting a little. Highlights include : Belly Sacred Is the Flesh Ticker Black Nativity Nas: Time Is Illmatic (Documentary)
36. Dr. Dre
Soundtrack | Training Day
Considered by many to be hip-hop's greatest producer, Dr. Dre (b. André Young, February 18, 1965) pioneered gangsta hip-hop and his own variation of the sound, dubbed G-Funk. His very early albums were violent but cautionary tales of the criminal mind, but Dre's records with NWA celebrated the ...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 2 Huge rap career, Dr. Dre is one of the founding members of NWA and one of the most successful producers of all time. Can't say the same for his acting career, but has a few noteworthy credits. There is also an NWA biopic coming out about his life. Highlights include : Set It Off Training Day The Wash Pauly Shore Is Dead 50 Cent: Bulletproof (Video Game)
37. Adam Horovitz
Actor | While We're Young
After leaving his band "The Young And The Useless", Adam Horovitz joined Mike D and Adam Yauch in the Beastie Boys, opening for Madonna on her famous "Like a Virgin" tour.
Adam has also appeared in films such as Lost Angels (1989) with Donald Sutherland and Roadside Prophets (1992) with John Doe. He...
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 3 The Beastie Boys made some early movie appearances as a trio playing themselves. Outside of that, of the three, King Ad-Rock is the only one to have dabbled in acting. Highlights include : Krush Groove Tougher Than Leather Lost Angels A Kiss Before Dying Roadside Prophets A Day in the Life of Nathaniel Hornblower
Soundtrack | Any Given Sunday
Guru was born on July 17, 1961 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, USA as Keith Elam. He died on April 19, 2010 in Suffern, New York, USA.
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 2 Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal, the GangStarr MC is remembered as one of the most respected MC's to step in the arena. He racked up a few modest film credits as well before his untimely death. Highlights include : Who's the Man? The Substitute 2: School's Out (TV Movie) Train Ride 3 A.M. Grand Theft Auto 3 & Liberty City Stories (Video Games) Urban Massacre
39. Joseph Simmons
Soundtrack | Die Hard
Joseph Simmons was born on November 14, 1964 in Queens, New York, USA. He has been married to Justine Simmons since June 25, 1994. They have four children. He was previously married to Valerie Vaughn.
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 3 One third of Run DMC, pioneers of the culture and some of the earlier Hiphoppers to try their hand at acting. Rev Run specifically, real life brother of Russell Simmons, had one of the lead roles in Krush Groove, and of course Tougher than Leather, the HipHop answer to the Blues Brothers. Aside from those bigger early roles, Run has a few bit parts and cameos to his name, and more recently, seems to have made a new career path in reality TV. Highlights include : Krush Groove Tougher Than Leather Who's the Man? Run's House (TV Series documentary) Red Dragon Rev Run's Sunday Suppers (TV Series)
40. Darryl McDaniels
Soundtrack | Die Hard
Darryl Matthews McDaniels was born on May 31, 1964, in Queens, New York. His birth parents are unknown. At the age of 3 months, Byford and Banna McDaniels adopted him. He attended Catholic schools in New York City and after graduation, he attended St. John's University in Queens, New York. During ...
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 3 One third of Run DMC, pioneers of the culture and some of the earlier Hiphoppers to try their hand at acting. DMC had a couple of big early roles in Krush Groove, and of course Tougher than Leather, the HipHop answer to the Blues Brothers. Aside from those, DMC has a few bit parts and cameos to his name, and video game voice work. Highlights include : Krush Groove Tougher Than Leather Who's the Man? Death of a Dynasty Roll Bounce The Warriors (Video Game)
41. Jam Master Jay
Soundtrack | Die Hard
Jam Master Jay was born on January 21, 1965 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA as Jason William Mizell. He was married to Terri Corley. He died on October 30, 2002 in Queens.
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 1 One third of Run DMC, pioneers of the culture and some of the earlier Hiphoppers to try their hand at acting. Jam Master Jay had a couple of big early roles in Krush Groove, and of course Tougher than Leather, the HipHop answer to the Blues Brothers. Al though the legendary DJ barely had any lines, it is understood that JMJ speaks with his hands. He had a few other bit parts and cameos to his name before his tragic death in 2002. Highlights include : Krush Groove Tougher Than Leather Who's the Man? Death of a Dynasty
42. Tone Loc
Actor | Heat
HipHop career: 4 --- Film career: 7 He won't go down in history as the greatest rapper of all time and fizzled out quickly after two massive hit singles, but he has that voice. For a while he was building a solid acting resume with good supporting roles in some big movies. Highlights include : The Adventures of Ford Fairlane Bébé's Kids Posse Poetic Justice Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Heat Freedom Strike Thieves (TV Series)
Actor | The Town
HipHop career: 6 --- Film career: 5 From Boston, known primarily in underground arenas of HipHop, Slaine is a solid MC who doesn't get enough credit. He has a not particularly huge but nonetheless pretty decent acting resume. Often playing tough guys he has been cast in a few big name movies, with more on the way. Highlights include : Gone Baby Gone The Town Bad Blood Killing Them Softly By the Gun
Actress | Barbershop
Eve was born on November 10, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Eve Jihan Jeffers. She is an actress, known for Barbershop (2002), xXx (2002) and Whip It (2009). She has been married to Maximillion Cooper since June 14, 2014.
HipHop career: 6 --- Film career: 5 While perhaps not in a lot of big movies, Eve has built up some solid acting credits to her name and always shows true talent on screen. As a rapper she was solid, but I'll go so far as to say acting is her true calling, she should be getting better roles. Highlights include : Barbershop 1 & 2 xXx The Woodsman The Cookout Flashbacks of a Fool Whip It Bounty Killer
45. Master P
Actor | Hollywood Homicide
Percy Miller also known as "Master P" was born on April 29, 1970 in New Orleans, LA. Although he was raised in the poverty of Calliope Housing Projects, he was motivated and determined to reach his goals and dreams, which led him to become a successful entrepreneur. As a student-athlete at the ...
HipHop career: 6 --- Film career: 5 A businessman through and through, Master P was never much of a rapper or an actor. However with a quantity over quality approach, plus his hands in producing and directing, he stayed busy for the better part of the early 2000's. Highlights include : I'm Bout It (Video) I Got the Hook Up MP Da Last Don (Video) Hot Boyz (Video) Hollywood Homicide Repos (Video) Romeo! (TV Series) Uncle P Black Supaman (Video)
Actor | Ant-Man
T.I. was born Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. on September 25, 1980, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Violeta Morgan and Clifford "Buddy" Harris, Sr. He is also known as T.I.P. and "Rubberband Man". T.I. is from the streets of Westside Bankhead Zone 1 in Atlanta. His original stage name, T.I.P., it stems from ...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career:4 Self proclaimed King of the South, T.I. stands at the forefront of a newer generation of HipHop artists. His acting resume, while not huge in numbers, has been continuously growing. Highlights include : ATL American Gangster Takers Boss (TV Series) Identity Thief
47. Ed Lover
Actor | Undisputed
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 4 Ed Lover and his partner Doctor Dré, most notable for hosting Yo! MTV Raps, radio, and leading an all-star HipHop cast in Who's the Man?. They put out an album, and Ed was a member of No Face early on. He has an extensive radio career also. Highlights include : The Day It Came to Earth Juice Who's the Man? Gunmen Ride Undisputed The Hustle (Video) The Bahama Hustle (Video)
48. Doctor Dré
Actor | Who's the Man?
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 4 Doctor Dré and his partner Ed Lover, most notable for hosting Yo! MTV Raps, radio, and leading an all-star HipHop cast in Who's the Man?. They put out an album, and this Doctor Dré - not to be confused with Dr. Dre - early on he was a member of the group Original Concept. Highlights include : Juice Who's the Man? Gunmen Ride The Hustle (Video) The Bahama Hustle (Video) Miracle's Boys (TV Mini-Series)
49. Fab 5 Freddy
Actor | Wild Style
Fab 5 Freddy was born on August 31, 1959 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Frederick Brathwaite. He is an actor and director, known for Wild Style (1983), New Jack City (1991) and The Manchurian Candidate (2004).
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 3 Graffiti artist, host of Yo! MTV Raps and all-round HipHop pioneer, Freddy first starred in Wild Style. His acting resume isn't huge beyond that, usually cameos or bit parts playing variations of himself, but he pops up in some big HipHop movies. Highlights include : Downtown 81 (New York Beat Movie) Wild Style She's Gotta Have It New Jack City Juice Who's the Man? American Gangster
50. Big Daddy Kane
Soundtrack | Blade: Trinity
Big Daddy Kane was born on September 10, 1968 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Antonio Hardy. He has been married to Shawnette since May 1, 2010.
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 3 Dark Gable, Juice Crew original and one of the most fierce lyricists of the golden era. Kane has a natural charisma, so it's no wonder the smooth operator took a chance on acting. Unfortunately his acting career never really took off, but he has a few credits. Highlights include : Posse The Meteor Man Dead Heist Just Another Day You're Nobody 'til Somebody Kills You
51. Flavor Flav
Soundtrack | Three Kings
Flavor Flav was born on March 16, 1959 in Roosevelt, Long Island, New York, USA as William Johnathon Drayton Jr. He is an actor and producer, known for Three Kings (1999), End of Watch (2012) and xXx: State of the Union (2005).
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 3 HipHop's #1 Hypeman, Flavor Flav made a huge impact in music as part of Public Enemy. If Chuck is Batman than Flav is the Joker. As for his acting career, not so much, but he does have lots of credits. Mostly limited to bit parts and cameos with a few bigger parts in straight to DVD movies and lesser known TV shows, he also did the reality show thing for a while. Highlights include : Mo' Better Blues New Jack City Who's the Man? Confessions of a Pit Fighter Cain and Abel Flavor of Love (TV Series) Nite Tales: The Series (TV Series) YooHoo and Friends (TV Series)
52. Wyclef Jean
Soundtrack | Hotel Rwanda
Wyclef Jean was born on October 17, 1969 in La Plaine, Haiti as Nell Wyclef Jean. He has been married to Marie Claudinette since 1994. They have one child.
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 4 The most active member of the Fugees since their split, Wyclef tried his hand at acting and while he may not have a huge list of credits, there are a few worth mentioning. Highlights include : Carmen: A Hip Hopera (TV Movie) Shottas One Last Thing... Full Clip Nashville (TV Series)
Actor | Get Him to the Greek
Sean Diddy Combs, AKA Puff Daddy, is the definition of a mogul. Starting his career as the director of A&R at Uptown Records, he was integral in launching the careers of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci, and later started his own label, Bad Boy Records, which has fostered talent that includes Mariah Carey,...
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 3 His credentials as a HipHop artist have always been debatable, but his success as a business man have been undeniable. While his film credits are average at best, it's no surprise Puffy chose to capitalize on his name. Highlights include : Made Monster's Ball Carlito's Way: Rise to Power (Video) A Raisin in the Sun (TV Movie) Get Him to the Greek Draft Day
54. Fat Joe
Actor | Happy Feet
Joseph Antonio Cartagena (born August 19, 1970), better known by his stage name Fat Joe, is an American rapper and actor from the Bronx, New York. He began his music career as a member of hip hop group Diggin' in the Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.), then forged a solo career and set up his own label, Terror...
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 3 Member of DITC, Terror Squad, and BDP, plus his frequent collaborations with the late Big Pun, Joey Crack has earned his respect in HipHop. He has a commanding presence, but his movie career is mostly limited to bit parts as thugs. Highlights include : Urban Menace (Video) Thicker Than Water Blazin' Prison Song Empire Scary Movie 3 The Cookout 2 (TV Movie) Narx
55. Derek Barbosa
Soundtrack | Ride
Discovered and signed at age 16 by music impresario Rick Rubin, Derek Barbosa (known as rapper Chino XL and often referred to as "the Lyrical Messiah") was born in New Jersey to a Puerto Rican father and a Black mother. After releasing his debut album "Here To Save You All" (with chart topping ...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 4 Lyrical beast with the physique of an action hero and an IQ so high it's not a number it's a sound, it surprises me that Chino isn't a household name with higher album sales and bigger movie roles. Criminally underrated, still, his respect is earned. Highlights include : Barrio Wars Vatos The Beat Crime Partners Gang Warz
56. Michie Mee
Actress | Baby Blues
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 3 Canadian HipHop royalty, Michie Mee has the distinction of being the first Canadian HipHop artist signed in the States. She had much national success for fer Reggae influenced debut Jamaican Funk—Canadian Style. She also fronted a multi-genre Rock/Reggae/HipHop band called Raggadeath. Her acting resume is small, with the highlight being Drop the Beat, a TV series about a HipHop radio station in Toronto. In Too Deep Hendrix (TV Movie) Drop the Beat (TV Series) Chicks with Sticks Baby Blues
Actor | X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Will.i.am was born on March 15, 1975 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William James Adams Jr.
HipHop career: 6 --- Film career: 5 Member of Black Eyed Peas, his HipHop credentials have been often questioned, more and more often over the years, but his success in the industry can't be denied. The majority of his film credits is in voice work, plus a small part in the X-Men franchise. Highlights include : Be Cool Instant Def (TV Series) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa X-Men Origins: Wolverine Arthur and the Great Adventure Rio 1 & 2
58. Chuck D
Soundtrack | Star Trek Beyond
Both as a solo artist and as the leader of the ground-breaking hip-hop group Public Enemy (which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013), Chuck D helped pave the way for political, social and culturally conscious hip-hop. Public Enemy's albums remain among the most critically ...
HipHop career: 10 --- Film career: 1 Made one of the biggest impacts on HipHop in its entire history, PE gets the utmost amount of respect. That said, Chuck D may dabble in acting a little, but in that forum he never managed to make much impact in the film industry, though his soundtrack work with Spike Lee is noteworthy. Highlights include : An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Video Game) Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie (Video) The Quiet Arrangement
59. Lauryn Hill
Soundtrack | Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
Lauryn Hill, a native of South Orange, New Jersey, first came to attention with the multi-talented Fugees. Their first album, "Blunted On Reality", went virtually unnoticed by the public; their real breakthrough came with the sophomore album, "The Score", which featured "Killing Me Softly". That ...
HipHop career: 9 --- Film career: 2 Hard to justify her inclusion on this list with so few credits, but the highly respected Fugee MC had strong reviews in Sister Act 2. After the success of her solo album L Boogie kinda stepped away from it all. A comeback may be on the horizon. Highlights include : Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit Hav Plenty Restaurant Man in Wood
60. Christopher Reid
Actor | House Party
Christopher Reid was born on April 5, 1964 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA. He is known for his work on House Party (1990), House Party 3 (1994) and Spec Ops: The Line (2012). He has been married to Kimberly Turner since June 19, 2004.
HipHop career: 5 --- Film career: 6 Kid, from Kid N Play, as a duo they had a solid run of comedy movies in their prime before it fizzled out, usually playing variations of themselves. Kid went on to fair slightly better than Play in the long run, far as acting credits and TV appearances go. Highlights include : House Party 1, 2 & 3 Kid 'n' Play (TV Series) Class Act The Temptations (TV Movie) War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave (Video) House Party: Tonight's the Night (Video)
Actor | House Party
Christopher Martin was born on July 10, 1962 in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for House Party (1990), Class Act (1992) and House Party 3 (1994). He was previously married to Shari Headley.
HipHop career: 5 --- Film career: 5 Play, from Kid N Play, as a duo they had a solid run of comedy movies in their prime before it fizzled out, usually playing variations of themselves. Play kinda disappeared from the spotlight, but shows up with Kid now and then. Highlights include : House Party 1, 2 & 3 Kid 'n' Play (TV Series) Class Act House Party: Tonight's the Night (Video)
Soundtrack | How High
Redman was born on April 17, 1970 in Newark, New Jersey, USA as Reggie Noble.
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 2 Not as successful in Hollywood as partner in rhyme Method Man, Redman may not have a ton of big film credits, but he has tons of charisma, often playing comedic variations of himself. Highlights include : Colorz of Rage Statistic: The Movie (Video) How High Method & Red (TV Series) Seed of Chucky
Soundtrack | Dangerous Minds
With over 17 million records sold worldwide, Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum recording artist Coolio is an artist known around the world as a musical and cooking master of extraordinary reinvention. Growing up during the time of tremendous change in Compton, Calif., Coolio fed on struggle ...
HipHop career: 6 --- Film career: 4 After WC and The MAAD Circle plus a couple of successful solo singles, Coolio seems to have stepped away from the mic and into a career in Reality TV. He has a wicked huge ton of lower budget acting credits as well. Highlights include : Dear God An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn Tyrone (Bad Trip) Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth The Beat Stealing Candy Gang Warz Grad Night Two Hundred Thousand Dirty
64. MC Eiht
Actor | Menace II Society
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 2 One of the more notable gangsta rappers to ever do it, this Compton's Most Wanted MC is a pioneer of the sub-genre. His film credits often have him in supporting roles similar to his music persona. Not a big acting resume to speak of though, most notably in a small but still prominent part in Menace II Society in which he also has the highlight song on the soundtrack, and his voice work in GTA San Andreas. Highlights include : Menace II Society Reasons Thicker Than Water 100 Kilos (Video) Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Video Game) Who Made the Potatoe Salad?
65. Romeo Miller
Actor | Honey
HipHop career: 4 --- Film career: 6 As the son of Master P, prepubescent rap star Lil Romeo had both a rap career and an acting career handed to him. The rap career faded pretty quick but the acting is still going. Highlights include : Honey Still 'Bout It (Video) Romeo! (TV Series) Uncle P Jumping the Broom Madea's Witness Protection The Love Letter (TV Movie)
66. Biz Markie
Actor | Men in Black II
HipHop career: 8 --- Film career: 2 Juice Crew original, MC, human beatbox, action figure, still going strong as a DJ to this day, everybody loves the Biz. He was never much of an actor really, but every time he does pop up in something it's always memorable. Highlights include : The Meteor Man In Living Color (TV Series) Men in Black II Crank Yankers (TV Series) Yo Gabba Gabba! (TV Series) Sharknado 2: The Second One (TV Movie)
67. Wes Williams
Actor | Four Brothers
"Wes Williams is one of the finest actors in the country", says award-winning, Canadian film director Gail Harvey. An inductee into The Scarborough Walk of Fame, Wes is also the recipient of The 2003 Reel World Film Festival Trailblazer Award. In the summer of 2008 he will begin filming season two ...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 3 Maestro Fresh Wes made a huge impact in Canadian HipHop. While perhaps not a household name elsewhere, he made a serious go in the US, working with Showbiz from DITC. Film credits are limited to a few bit movie parts and a few solid stints on Canadian TV shows. Highlights include : Honey Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story (TV Movie) Metropia (TV Series) Get Rich or Die Tryin' Poor Boy's Game Instant Star (TV Series) The Line (TV Series) Mr. D (TV Series)
Soundtrack | Kiss of the Dragon
Mystikal was born on September 22, 1970 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA as Michael Lawrence Tyler.
HipHop career: 6 --- Film career: 4 Yet another artist to work with Master P on both music and movies, but unlike other No Limit artists, he branched out and did his own thing. He has a handful of movie credits. Highlights include : I Got the Hook Up Hot Boyz (Video) Makin' Baby 13 Dead Men Mac & Devin Go to High School
Actor | Street Kings
Jayceon Taylor was born on November 29, 1979 in Compton, California. He was born into a life of gang-banging and hustling. When later interviewed, Taylor, aka The Game says at a young age, he recalls seeing both of his parents preparing to do drive-bys. His father was a Nutty Block Crip and his ...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 3 Affiliating himself with some heavyweights in 'the game', Game's rap career made a pretty big impact initially. So in this era, naturally the movie roles came in, but it hasn't quite panned out the same way. Not so sure if the face tattoo is hurting or helping. Highlights include : Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Video Game) Waist Deep Tournament of Dreams Street Kings Belly 2: Millionaire Boyz Club (Video) House Arrest
70. Shad Moss
Shad Gregory Moss was born on March 9, 1987 in Columbus, Ohio to Teresa Rena (Jones) and Alfonso Preston Moss. When Shad was five, he started his rap career using the nickname "Kid Gangsta." One year later, he took front stage during "The Chronic Tour" and impressed rapper Snoop Dogg, who later ...
HipHop career: 5 --- Film career: 5 Prepubescent gimmick rap from when that was a thing. Bow Wow is a child star who has managed to hang on longer than the average child star, due to his successful transition to movies. Highlights include : Carmen: A Hip Hopera (TV Movie) All About the Benjamins Like Mike Roll Bounce The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Hurricane Season Lottery Ticket Madea's Big Happy Family
71. Lord Jamar
Lord Jamar was born on September 17, 1968 in New Rochelle, New York, USA as Lorenzo DeChalus. He is an actor, known for Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996), Boiler Room (2000) and Menace II Society (1993).
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 3 Member of Brand Nubian, Lord Jamar earned much respect as an MC. His acting resume isn't huge, most notably roles in big HBO shows. Being outspoken as he is in interviews as of late has been the cause of much backlash and internet arguments. Highlights include : Oz (TV Series) Funny Valentine The Sopranos (TV Series) They're Just My Friends Wifey (TV Movie) Buffalo Bushido
72. Pras Michel
Actor | Mystery Men
Pras Michel was born on October 19, 1972 as Prakazrel Samuel Michel.
HipHop career: 5 --- Film career: 4 Fugees was a highly successful group of which Pras was the weakest link. They all went their separate ways and all tried their hand at acting, Pras built up some low budget credits and bit parts before it all seemed to fizzle. Highlights include : Mystery Men Turn It Up Go for Broke Go Go Tales Feel the Noise Mutant Chronicles
73. Saul Williams
Actor | K-PAX
Acclaimed New York-based verbal stylist, who has risen to the level of one of the foremost slam poets today. Holds a B.A. in philosophy and acting from Morehouse College, as well as a Masters in Acting from NYU.
Was a staple of NYC's Nuyorican Poets Cafe, where he honed his skill, drawing from ...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 2 Known more as a Slam poet, Saul Williams may be underrated as an MC, but he has his loyal following. Not one to be cast off name recognition alone, his film credits may be small and mostly Indy films, but he has some solid acting chops. Highlights include : Slam King of the Korner K-PAX Aujourd'hui
74. Beanie Sigel
Soundtrack | State Property
Beanie Sigel was born on March 6, 1974 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Dwight Grant.
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 2 Roc-A-Fella made a couple attempts at making movies, and Roc-A-Fella MC, Beanie Sigel was cast in the leads. He has since split off from Roc and continues to make music, but the movie credits died off pretty quick. Highlights include : State Property 1 & 2 Paper Soldiers Brown Sugar Death of a Dynasty
Soundtrack | The Longest Yard
Nelly went to Spain with his father, Air Force Man Cornall Haynes Sr., until he was 3 years old, then moved to St. Louis. Nelly's folks struggled financially and split up when he was 7. As the youngest child in the neighborhood he grew up getting into trouble with the big kids. As a result he ended...
HipHop career: 7 --- Film career: 2 His initial impact in the world of music was massive, even if his authenticity was in question after wax battles with the highly respected KRS-One. While still active, he stepped out of the spotlight, but not before racking up a small list of film credits. Nothing particularly noteworthy except perhaps his supporting role in The Longest Yard where he held his own in a large cast. Highlights include : Snipes The Longest Yard Reach Me A Fall from Grace
76. Tom Green
Actor | Freddy Got Fingered
Tom Green was born on July 30, 1971 in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada as Michael Thomas Green. He is a producer and actor, known for Freddy Got Fingered (2001), Road Trip (2000) and Charlie's Angels (2000). He was previously married to Drew Barrymore.
HipHop career: 4 --- Film career: 5 Known worldwide for his pranks, his strange brand of comedy, his talk shows and his questionable acting. But before all that, Tom Green was MC Bones from the Canadian HipHop group Organized Rhyme. One hit wonder, but their album was legit. Green also put out solo albums, one under the name MC Face, had a memorable freestyle session on his show with Xzibit, and he hosted an early HipHop radio show in college. Highlights include : The Tom Green Show (TV Series) The New Tom Green Show (TV Series) Superstar Road Trip Freddy Got Fingered Stealing Harvard Bob the Butler Tom Green's House Tonight (TV Series) Tom Green Live (TV Series)
77. Shaquille O'Neal
Actor | Steel
Shaquille O'Neal is a retired professional American basketball player who is a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA on TNT. He is considered one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. He was one of the tallest and heaviest players ever. O'Neal ...
HipHop career: 4 --- Film career: 4 As a HipHop artist and an actor, Shaq-Fu made for one hell of a good Basketball player. Still, he does have a couple albums and worked with legit HipHop artists. Charismatic as he is big, usually cameos as himself, but he has a few leading roles. Highlights include : Blue Chips Kazaam Steel Good Burger Curb Your Enthusiasm (TV Series) The Wash Grown Ups 2 Blended
Writer | 90 Days Past Due
Born Vyshonne Miller in New Orleans, Louisiana, Silkk The Shocker is arguably the most popular rapper on the hugely successful No Limit Records, the underground hip-hop label founded by his brother Master P. He began rapping as a teenager and was a member of several gangsta crews, including the ...
HipHop career: 5 --- Film career: 3 Brother of Master P involved in both music and acting. Never made much impact, but he did appear in a handful of low budget mostly Master P produced movies. He also fared better than their other brother C-Murder, who lived up to his name. Highlights include : I'm Bout It (Video) MP Da Last Don (Video) Corrupt Hot Boyz (Video) Still 'Bout It (Video) Little Girl Blue: What's Become of You?
79. Vanilla Ice
Soundtrack | Cool as Ice
Vanilla Ice was born Robert Matthew Van Winkle on October 31, 1967 in South Dallas, Texas. He was raised by his mother, Camilla Beth (Dickerson). His father left when he was four years old and since then, he has had many stepfathers. He has German and English ancestry on his mother's side.
In his ...
HipHop career: 3 --- Film career: 3 One hit wonder who just can't stay away, Vanilla Ice was never taken seriously as a HipHop artist. Name recognition did lead him to tons of Reality TV and some movie credits, usually playing himself, in more ways than one, and he acts as good as he raps. Highlights include : Cool as Ice Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Da Hip Hop Witch (Video) The New Guy That's My Boy The Ridiculous 6
80. Omar Epps
Actor | House M.D.
Omar Epps is an American actor, starring on the ABC drama Resurrection (2014).
Epps was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal. No stranger to the big screen, Epps has appeared in lead roles in feature films, including Paramount's ...
Honorable Mention Known primarily and almost exclusively as an actor, but before that Omar Epps did try his hand at a HipHop career. He was a backup dancer for Queen Latifah, put out a 12" with Da Wolfpack, and later, did a solo album. Music never took off, but his acting certainly did. Highlights include : Juice The Program Higher Learning First Time Felon (TV Movie) The Mod Squad The Wood Love & Basketball Against the Ropes House M.D. (TV Series)
81. Romany Malco
Actor | Weeds
The first American-born member of his West Indian family, Brooklyn-bred Romany Malco began his career at the age of seven, when he picked up a microphone and started rapping. As a teen he moved to Texas and formed the rap group R.M.G., and upon relocating to Los Angeles, the crew signed a deal to ...
Honorable Mention Hard to even think of him as a HipHop artist, as his rap career - he was ROM from College Boyz - was shorter than half a midget. Most people wouldn't remember, but that's where he started. He also played MC Hammer in a TV biopic, beyond that, his acting career has been infinitely more successful. Highlights include : The Château Too Legit: The MC Hammer Story (TV Movie) The 40-Year-Old Virgin Baby Mama The Love Guru Saint John of Las Vegas Weeds (TV Series) No Ordinary Family (TV Series) Think Like a Man 1 & 2
82. Bonz Malone
Actor | Life
Honorable Mention Bonz Malone has always been very active in HipHop, making his name as a writer. He wrote HipHop articles for a bunch of different magazines and a book called Hip Hop Immortals, he was a Graffiti writer, and he was an A&R signing HipHop acts on Island Records. Highlights include : Slam Life Whiteboyz Shaft Brooklyn Babylon 3 A.M. Bomb the System God Has a Rap Sheet Men Without Jobs (Planet Brooklyn)
Honorable Mention Graffiti artist, most known for his lead in Wild Style, the first HipHop movie. Lee didn't do much acting after that, but I added him anyway mostly out of respect, Wild Style was a big deal. Highlights include : Downtown 81 (New York Beat Movie) Wild Style Acts of Worship Bomb the System God Has a Rap Sheet
84. Scott Caan
Actor | Ocean's Eleven
Scott Caan is the son of tough guy actor James Caan. While it is obvious that he admires tough method actors like Marlon Brando and Sean Penn, Scott also has a strong egalitarian streak, evidenced by his reasoning for baring his body in films. He is quoted as saying that originally only the women ...
Honorable Mention Still in his teens, Caan started out as an MC in a group called The Whooliganz alongside rhyme partner, now highly successful producer the Alchemist. They were down with Cypress Hill. The HipHop career was short lived, for Caan at least, as the album they recorded was shelved and he moved on, however he did reconnect with Alchemist and Evidence for a new track in 2014. Highlights include : A Boy Called Hate Enemy of the State Black & White Boiler Room Ready to Rumble Ocean's Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen Brooklyn Rules Entourage (TV Series) Hawaii Five-0 (TV Series)
85. Balthazar Getty
Actor | Lord of the Flies
Balthazar Getty was born on January 22, 1975 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Paul Balthazar Getty. He is an actor and producer, known for Lord of the Flies (1990), Feast (2005) and Young Guns II (1990). He has been married to Rosetta Millington since May 3, 2000. They have four children.
Honorable Mention On the surface perhaps one of the more unlikely candidates for this list, little known fact is that Balthazar Getty, most prominent as a teen film star, has been producing HipHop beats for several years, and quite well. His most recent group - called The Wow, Getty producing, alongside rapper KO The Legend - have been seeing some moderate success as of late. Highlights include : Lord of the Flies Young Guns II Where the Day Takes You White Squall Lost Highway Pasadena (TV Series) Sol Goode Ladder 49 Brothers & Sisters (TV Series)
86. Dave Chappelle
Writer | Chappelle's Show
Dave Chappelle's career started while he was in high school at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC where he studied theatre arts. At the age of 14, he began performing stand-up comedy in nightclubs. Shortly after graduation, he moved to New York City where he quickly established ...
Honorable Mention Always had the HipHop guests on Chappelle's Show, both performng and in skits, Wu-Tang financial, Lil John, etc, plus he used HipHop by Dead Prez as the opening theme music. Throw in Dave Chappelle's Block Party and Sir Smoke-a-Lot from Half Baked, Dave is clearly a HipHop head. Highlights include : The Nutty Professor Con Air Half Baked 200 Cigarettes Blue Streak Screwed Undercover Brother Chappelle's Show (TV Series) Block Party (Documentary)
87. Chris Rock
Actor | Top Five
Christopher Julius Rock was born in Andrews, South Carolina and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of Rosalie (Tingman), a teacher and social worker for the mentally handicapped, and Julius Rock, a truck driver and newspaper deliveryman, whose own father was a preacher.
Honorable Mention On the Chris Rock Show, he had Grandmaster Flash as his one man house band. He has movies like CB4 and Top Five, plus various HipHop related skits on SNL, pretty much the first to do that. He talks about HipHop in his comedy routine on occasion and in interviews, and it's clear he knows what he's talking about. He was even an extra in Krush Groove. Chris Rock is indeed HipHop. Highlights include : I'm Gonna Git You Sucka Saturday Night Live (TV Series) The Chris Rock Show (TV Series) New Jack City CB4 Pootie Tang Everybody Hates Chris (TV Series) Death at a Funeral Top Five
88. Regina King
Actress | Ray
Regina King was born in Los Angeles, California, to Gloria, a special education teacher, and Thomas King, an electrician. She began her career in the television show 227 (1985), followed by a role in Boyz n the Hood (1991). She began to be recognized by a mainstream audience after her role as Cuba ...
Honorable Mention A John Singleton regular early on in her film career, King went on to thrive as an actress with a strong list of credits. From working with Ice Cube a number of times, and Will Smith, plus her voice work on The Boondocks highly qualifies her for this list. Highlights include : 227 (TV Series) Boyz n the Hood Poetic Justice Higher Learning Friday A Thin Line Between Love and Hate Enemy of the State Southland (TV Series) The Boondocks (TV Series)
89. Michael Rapaport
Actor | Deep Blue Sea
A true New Yorker through and through, Michael Rapaport was born in Manhattan, to June Brody, a radio personality, and David Rapaport, a radio program manager. He is of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent. Rapaport moved to Los Angeles to try stand-up comedy following high school graduation (...
Honorable Mention With his documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of ATCQ, it's no surprise Michael Rappaport loves HipHop. He also dabbles, appearing in videos for Luda, Talib Kweli and Jay-Z, plus rhyming on How to Rob an Actor for the High & Mighty. Highlights include : Zebrahead True Romance Higher Learning Beautiful Girls Illtown Cop Land Bamboozled Boston Public (TV Series) Big Fan
90. Danny Hoch
Actor | Black Hawk Down
Born and raised in New York City, Danny Hoch (rhymes with rock) attended the High School of Performing Arts where he began his studies in theatre. After studying in London and then working with a high-octane theatre troupe (Creative Arts Team) in NYC's jails and high schools, Mr. Hoch began to ...
Honorable Mention With his one-man show, CD and Book - all three of which are titled Jails Hospitals and HipHop - plus a number of his acting roles, most notably White Boyz, Danny Hoch clearly has informed opinions and wears his HipHop on his sleeve. Highlights include : SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground (TV Movie) The Thin Red Line Whiteboyz Bamboozled Prison Song Black Hawk Down Washington Heights We Own the Night Home
91. Bokeem Woodbine
Actor | Spider-Man: Homecoming
Bokeem Woodbine grew up in Harlem, New York. At the age of 19, he secured the lead role in the HBO production of Forest Whitaker's directorial debut Strapped (1993). Bokeem moved to Los Angeles shortly after completing the film Jason's Lyric (1994), and has pursued his dream of becoming a ...
Honorable Mention An actor first, but Bokeem Woodbine has never been shy about his love for HipHop, as some of his roles depict. While never dabbling in a rap career himself, you can find him popping up in music videos on occasion, most notably for Wu-Tang and Tupac. Highlights include : Strapped (TV Movie) Crooklyn Jason's Lyric Panther Caught Up The Big Hit Life Ray A Day in the Life
92. Mekhi Phifer
Actor | ER
Mekhi Phifer was born in Harlem, Manhattan, and was raised by his mother, Rhoda, a high school teacher. Phifer's acting career began when he auditioned at an open casting call for director Spike Lee's Clockers (1995) and was selected for the leading role. Working alongside Harvey Keitel and Delroy ...
Honorable Mention While not a HipHop artist himself, in going through some of his movie roles it's evident that Makhi Phifer has an appreciation for HipHop. He also gets mention in Eminem's Lose Yourself, and sometimes appears in music videos, most notably Eminem and 50 Cent vids. Highlights include : Clockers High School High Soul Food Shaft Carmen: A Hip Hopera (TV Movie) Paid in Full 8 Mile Honey A Day in the Life
93. David Faustino
Actor | Married with Children
David Faustino was born on March 3, 1974 in Los Angeles, California, USA as David Anthony Faustino. He is an actor and writer, known for Married... with Children (1987), The Legend of Korra (2012) and Star-ving (2009). He was previously married to Andrea Faustino.
Honorable Mention Might seem like an unlikely candidate for this list. But keep in mind Grandmaster B, his real life attempt at a rap career under the name D L'il, the Nas poster on Bud's wall, his appearance in the Krs-One MC's Act Like They Don't Know video, and his HipHop nightclub Balistyx. Highlights include : Married with Children (TV Series) Dirt Merchant The Heist (Shot Down - Video) MacArthur Park Killer Bud Puff, Puff, Pass The Hustle Boston Strangler: The Untold Story (Video)
Actor | Lean on Me
At 14 years of age, Huggy fell into the acting business when his mother brought him to a cattle-call audition in New York for the Warner Brothers feature "Lean on Me", a starring role as a misguided drug-abusing junior high school student. The line to get in to the audition for the role of Thomas ...
Honorable Mention While not really a contributor as any kind of HipHop artist, Huggy always did a good job of representing it on screen, most notably in Juice. Unfortunately he ran into some legal troubles in recent history after his acting career slowed down. Highlights include : Lean on Me Juice Strapped (TV Movie) Phat Beach Bullet How to Be a Player Urban Massacre Zoo
95. Anthony Mackie
Actor | The Hurt Locker
Anthony Mackie is an American actor. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Martha (Gordon) and Willie Mackie, Sr., who owned a business, Mackie Roofing. Anthony has been featured in feature films, television series and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, ...
Honorable Mention With his debut as a battle rapper in 8 Mile and his portrayal - though often critically slammed - of Tupac in Notorious, it seems fitting to add Anthony Mackie to the list. Highlights include : 8 Mile Hollywood Homicide Brother to Brother She Hate Me Sucker Free City (TV Movie) Crossover The Hurt Locker Notorious Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Actor | Straight Outta Compton
O'Shea Jackson Jr. is an American actor and musician. O'Shea is the son of rapper Ice Cube and he portrayed his father in the 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton (2015), which was his feature film debut.
His older brother Darrell is also a rapper under the name Doughboy, which is the nickname of the ...
Honorable Mention With no albums and only one movie credit, it seems premature to include him on this list. I make the exception however, as he is an aspiring MC under the name OMG. More prominent, he was in the biggest HipHop biopic to date, playing one of the biggest HipHop icons of all time - his father, and also number two on this very list - and he nailed the part, probably the best performance in the whole movie. True, he had an advantage, but still no small feat or shoes to fill. Give him a few years and some more work and he'll be climbing this list for certain. Highlights include : Straight Outta Compton
97. Jamal Woolard
Actor | Notorious
Honorable Mention Not a big resume to speak of as of yet, but as a relative new comer, Jamal Woodward made a big debut when getting cast as the Notorious BIG in his biopic. Apparently he had aspirations of starting a rap career prior to shooting Notorious. Highlights include : Notorious Dice City (TV Movie) Battle Scars
98. Arsenio Hall
Actor | Coming to America
Honorable Mention Comedian with a string of acting credits and work with Eddie Murphy, but most notable for being a talk show host. Chunky A fiasco aside, Arsenio Hall gets a ton of respect for always putting Hip Hop artists on his late night show when nobody else would. The infamous cypher on his final episode is a HipHop history lesson in itself. Highlights include : The Real Ghostbusters (TV Series) Coming to America Harlem Nights The Arsenio Hall Show (TV Series) Arsenio (TV Series) Martial Law (TV Series) Black Dynamite