Mahershala Ali is no stranger to the rap game. Before he became one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, he rapped under the moniker Prince Ali in the mid-2000s. But if you thought the Academy Award–winning actor lost his skills, you are very wrong.
During the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, the host Amanda Parris asked him to "drop some bars." Luckily (for us), he obliged.
"Dream filled landscapes/Fog from London/The Bay Bridge painted in the midst among them," he raps. "Time moves with slugs and the geriatric rat race causing checkbook contortions/Pregnant with ambition on the second abortion/Seeds from the swamps gotta settle for quicksand/Fighting this condition is known to cause drowning/I hold my breath, inhale with every bit of life I have left."
If that isn't enough to hold you, Ali dropped two full projects, 2006's Corner Ensemble and 2007's Curb Side Service, when he rapped alongside the Hieroglyphics crew under their Hiero Imperium imprint. Ali's schedule is pretty busy nowadays but it seems hip-hop will always have a special place in his heart.
"Hip-hop has definitely had a strong, perhaps the strongest influence on my life," he told XXL in a 2016 interview. "I don’t think I’m at all unique with that. I think there’s so many people of color, and even white kids, that have been tolerating the stresses of their own problems and what not and were able to navigate so many things through the culture of hip-hop and create jobs, have opportunities and been able to express themselves and finding their identity in. I think that’s true with so many people, definitely with me. It’s an appendage. It’s a part of me."
Check out Ali's glorious freestyle above.