The Best Movie Performances From Rappers-Turned-Actors Over The Years
A look at hip-hop’s greatest contributions to film, from 1981 to now.
As Complex continues to celebrate hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, we would be remiss to gloss over the power of the moving image in cementing the genre as a global cultural phenomenon. Music videos were the first introduction to the ways hip-hop so beautifully tells stories. Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five's 1982 video for "The Message” comes to mind as one that could easily be seen as a short film exploring the ills of NYC in the '80s. This was also the same year that Wild Style was released, leading to four decades of hip-hop on the big screen.
From blockbusters to self-funded indie features, rappers like Queen Latifah and Tupac have proved it's not just pop stars who can be triple threats. Below, Complex highlights some of hip-hop’s greatest performances in film.
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