The Essentials: Hip Hop Action
No other genre of music has seen its performers cross over to the world of action movies with the frequency of rappers.
What is it that draws stars from the world of hip hop into the world of action movies? Or is it Hollywood that taps into the popularity of the hip hop world?
Whatever it is, I have compiled a list of the most famous rappers turned action stars in the latest edition of The Essentials…
- Mama Said Knock You Out: LL Cool J was one of the first to transition from singing about knocking people out, to actually doing it. LL had memorable roles in movies like Deep Blue Sea, Charlie’s Angels, Rollerball and S.W.A.T. His action entertainment career continues as he is one of the stars of the highly rated NCIS: Los Angeles.
- Naughty by Nature: Sometimes the bad boys can play good guys. That is the case with Naughty by Nature front man, Anthony “Treach” Criss. Treach most notably took over for Wesley Snipes as Agent Neil Shaw in The Art of War III: Retribution. Other movies on his action resume include Connors’ War and Love and a Bullet.
- You Can Do It: Ice Cube has a wide array of films in his filmography, so it is no surprise he’s made a few action films along the way. Cube appeared in Ghosts of Mars and Torque. But when Vin Diesel didn’t return for the xXx sequel, Ice Cube stepped up for his biggest action role to date. Cube played Darius Stone. xXX: State of the Union also featured rapper, Xzibit.
- Direct To Video Unit: When you think of Ice-T the actor, you probably think of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. But he does have a number of action films to his credit, albeit those of the direct to video variety. He was in such titles as Stealth Fighter, Judgment Night (with Mario Van Peebles and Tiny Lister) and The Wrecking Crew with fellow hip hopper, Snoop Dog.
- X Gonna Give It To Ya: DMX made a trifecta of action films (Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds and Cradle 2 The Grave) that gave him the opportunity to work with some true blue action stars like Jet Li, Steven Seagal and Mark Dacascos. Most action fans would lose their minds (up in here, up in here) if they could rub elbows with action stars like that.
- Gangsta’s Paradise: DMX wasn’t the only rapper who had the pleasure of working along side Mark Dacascos, Coolio and Dacascos played drug dealing business partners in a film I loved, China Strike Force. He also co-starred with Casper Van Dien and Tiny Lister in a film that Chad hated, Dracula 3000.
- Wild Thing: Tone Loc played Angel in Posse, along side rapper Big Daddy Kane, Tiny Lister, Mario Van Peebles and a true legend, Pam Grier. Loc also starred with Michael Dudikoff in a real stinker known as Freedom Strike.
- Roll Out: Unlike Ja Rule, who appeared in the first The Fast and The Furious film never to be seen again, Ludacris is a part of the Fast and Furious family. It started with 2 Fast 2 Furious, he returned for Fast 5, Fast & Furious 6 and he’ll be a part of Furious 7 as well.
There you have it, a pretty extensive list… did I leave anybody out? If so, feel free to tweet us about it @BProofMedia.