A wise man once said, “the game is the game.” And in 2018, the game is changing. As lines in the entertainment industry become more and more blurred, rappers, actors and ballplayers are intermingling with each other more than ever. Le’Veon Bell and Damian Lillard rap as much as they hoop. Actors think they can rap (we’re looking at you, Seth Rogen. Stop it). And, now more than ever, rappers are jetting off to Hollywood in droves.
Surprisingly, a handful of them are pretty good at it! Kid Cudi got a two-season story arc on HBO’s tragically short-lived How to Make it in America. Machine Gun Kelly nabbed a recurring role on a Showtime series. And Eminem’s 8 Mile will legitimately go down as an iconic film, not only in the “hip-hop movie” genre, but of any genre, period. What once felt like a casting risk has become the norm, and with films now being distributed all over non-traditional platforms, from Netflix to Hulu to Amazon Prime, there’s infinitely more space for rappers to make their acting debut without the pressure of the box office numbers to follow. Whether it’s pushing a project that may never have had a way to get noticed before, or simply finding an abundance of roles to audition for that previously didn’t exist, Hollywood is wide open for rappers right now.
Does that mean they’re winning Oscars for their performances? Not necessarily. But baby steps here, folks. And sometimes it’s the most hilarious and worst performances among them that make for the most memorable scenes. But throw a couple of the films mentioned in this list on, and you might be presently surprised by the acting chops of the rappers within. Here's a collection of rappers as actors, something tells us this list will keep expanding by the year.