1) Common – The man with the everyday title has become an above average talent onscreen. Currently starring in AMC's Hell on Wheels he’s also got a couple of flicks set to release. But let’s not forget the ones that led to his success, such as American Gangster and Smokin’ Aces.
2) Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) – Unbeknownst to many Yasiin Bey has been acting since 1988. He’s a true talent who’s embarked on timeless cinematic adventures like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In 2013 he’s got two more on the way, one of which is being penned by famous novelist Elmore Leonard.
3) Rza – The abbot of the Wu is a lot of things: producer, composer, author and actor to name a few. As the latter he’s got a slew of gems on the way including: G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Django Unchained, and his directorial debut The Man with the Iron Fists.
4) Childish Gambino – Also known as Donald Glover this grade A rhymesayer is also a top notch comedian. Fans of 30 Rock and Community are well aware of this fact, and movie buffs will soon learn the same when To Do List drops next year.
5) Drake – Drizzy started out on a little show called Degrassi: The Next Generation. But ever since he arose from his wheelchair he’s been all about emceeing. That said he does have two shorts (Grimey & My Name is Syn) on the way, as well as his vocal role in the current success Ice Age: Continental Drift.
6) Ludacris – It’s a bit upsetting to learn he isn’t going to be a part of Fast and the Furious 6, but be that as it may he helped make parts 2 and 5 beloved movies. He also held his own with character parts like those in Crash and No Strings Attached.
7) Bow Wow – Truth be told he’s been acting almost as long as he’s been rapping (which is most of his life). Highlights include Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Madea’s Big Happy Family. With nothing currently slated for both of his careers the question is what is next for Bow Wow?
8) Andre 3000 – Four Brothers and Semi-Pro are the movies he’s best known for, but all of that is about to change. Starring as the late great Jimi Hendrix in All is by My Side he’s ready to take the lead. Soon enough we’ll see if he is worthy of the honor.
9) Diddy – His resume is as light in front of the camera as it is in the recording booth. However, his brief stints are equally brilliant. Just as No Way Out and Last Train to Paris are musically memorable so too are his acting roles in Made and Get Him to the Greek.
10) T.I. – Despite his troubles with the law Tip’s still getting gigs. With a supporting role in the star-studded Identity Thief, he’s set to return to the silver screen in 2013. Having done well in past films like Takers and ATL the hope is that he’ll continue to improve as a thespian.
HNHH finds the ten best rappers-turned-actors.
Rapping and acting have gone hand-in-hand since the days of Krush Groove. Pioneers like Heavy D, 2-Pac, LL Cool J and Queen Latifah made the move not only acceptable but honorable as well. Since then not only have rappers added to their accolades by hitting the silver screen, others have stepped off the stage and grabbed the mic in turn. What follows is a list highlighting the current kings of this combined craft.