Act Like Ya Know! Judging Actors With Rap "Careers"

Act Like Ya Know! Judging Actors With Rap "Careers"

Word to Officer Ricky, most rappers are only acting, so what's the harm if a professional actor occasionally grabs the mic? Sure, wack beats, wack rhymes, wack rap voices, and wack posturing can cause irreparable damage to your ears, but whatever, it's not all bad. Take for instance the big homie Simon Rex, who went from masturbating in gay porn vids as a teen hustler to veejaying on MTV to starring in the series Jack & Jill before he found his true calling: spitting hilariously grimy raps as Dirt Nasty. Rex, who turns 36 today, is proof that sometimes actors should quit their day jobs. In honor of his born day, Complex takes a look at the acting and rapping resumés of actors-turned-rappers and decides who should keep their rap dreams alive and who should stick to the script.

SIMON REX, A.K.A. DIRT NASTY
Acting resumé: To his credit, Rex spent two years as an MTV VJ and two seasons with Amanda Peet and Jaime Pressley on the show Jack & Jill. Also to his credit are a bunch of minor roles in minor movies like Pledge This! and Superhero Movie—and the AVN Award-winning solo masturbation scenes he shot for gay porn vids as a 19-year-old hustler. Hey, at least it was award-winning.
Rap resumé: Whether on his 2007 Dirt Nasty debut or guest appearing with his boys Mickey Avalon, Andre Legacy, Beardo, and Andy Milonakis on tracks like Avalon's "My Dick," Rex's West Coast twang and simple delivery of filthy and funny punchlines about sex and drugs make us laugh. In a good way. And you can't even question his realness when he talks about the seedy side of L.A., 'cause your dad probably jerked off to his porn video back in the day.
Verdict: Rapper's delight!

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Actor_Tyrese_Gibson

TYRESE GIBSON, A.K.A. BLACK-TY
Acting resumé: We're not camping out at theaters to see weak urban gangster shit like Waist Deep or the never-ending sequels to The Fast and the Furious, but Gibson gets props for working his way up in the acting world from John Singleton's 2001 cult fave Baby Boy to Michael Bay's big-money Transformers blockbusters. Have YOU gotten to hang around Megan Fox for two movies? Didn't think so.
Rap resumé: Black-Ty was actually a shirtless R&B singer before he was an actor, but whether you hate the idea of R&B singers rapping, or actors rapping, or just can't stand bad rap, you can freely hate on the kid from Watts, whose self-indulgent 2006 double album, Alter Ego, contains one full disc of him singing and one full disc of him rapping like a dumbed-down imitation of Pac. All eyes on you, homie. People are just staring, wondering why the hell you won't shut up.
Verdict: Stick to the script!

"Get Low," Black-Ty feat. Snoop Dogg, Too Short, and Kurupt

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JOAQUIN PHOENIX
Acting resumé: Phoenix is arguably the most talented and successful actor on this list, having been in the 2000 swords-and-sandals smash Gladiator and the award-winning biopic of Johnny Cash, Walk the Line. We should probably just say "stick to the script" now, right?
Rap resumé: It's never a good sign when you tell people that you want to focus on your rap career and they laugh. In 2009, Phoenix stated his intentions, and to this day it remains unclear whether the long-bearded, hobo-looking actor is serious about quitting the biz to mumble into mics, fall on stage, and get into scuffles with audience members or just fucking with everyone on some Andy Kaufman shit. For his sake, we hope it's meant to be humorous, 'cause his rapping is a joke.
Verdict: Stick to the script!

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BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN, A.K.A. BRIAN GREEN
Acting resumé: His film career has been a whole lot of nothing, but B.A.G. was part of one of the television's biggest "teen" dramas of all time, playing loser-turned-cool guy David Silver for a decade on Beverly Hills 90210. More recently, he was in the tragically canceled sleeper series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles—and Megan Fox's vagina. Give this man a Hollywood star already.
Rap resumé: We had a lot of respect for The Pharcyde's Slimkid3 until he produced Green's 1996 rap debut, One Stop Carnival, which was basically the actor dick-riding the group's loose backpacker style but without even .001% of any of the members' charisma. (We wish he'd just stopped his rap career right about here.) Green dropped the "Austin" from his name like it would somehow allow his pop ass to pass in the rap world, and we dropped his LP in the toilet 'cause it was a piece of shit. Still, he's stuck his thing in Megan Fox and we haven't, so there's that.
Verdict: Stick to the script!

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DRAKE
Acting resumé: From 2001-2009, Drake, né Aubrey Drake Graham, played a high school basketball star left disabled by a gunshot wound on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Now we don't feel so bad about taking seven years to graduate high school.
Rap resumé: We haven't heard any of his music, but we hear this rap-singing kid from Canada is gonna be big. Like, cover of Complex BIG.
Verdict: Rapper's delight!

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Tags: community, dirt-nasty, donald-glover, drake, idris-elba, simon-rex
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