Act Like You Want It

Not every rapper-ternt-actor (or music mogul, that means you Diddy) who flies out to Hollyhood deserves an invitation to be on screen, this we know. (I’m not even gonna mention how I cringed watching Diddy “act” in A Raisin in the Sun.) But they go anyway, knowing good and well that very few rappers have been able to catch fire, with the exception of Mr. Smith, the Queen, Mos and even Luda. The jury is still out deliberating about Common’s acting chops, so we’ll save critical praise or sidesplitting giggles until Terminator Salvation hits theaters. For the record, Com didn’t have a big enough role in Wanted to really rate his skills and the same goes for American Gangster.

Which leads me to X, not Mr. “Get At me Dog,” the other X, the one famous for hosting a show that transforms hoopties into pimped out rides and is broadcast in 40 countries. In American Violet, Xzibit plays the baby daddy role to Dee, a 24-year-old chick who is falsely accused of selling drugs. The flick, if you don’t know, is based on a true story and exposes the inequities in our justice system. (What, really? You mean everything is not fair, equal and balanced in the good ol’ US of A?) Set in Melody, Texas, X’s babies’ moms is given two choices: plead guilty to the charge or roll the dice in court and risk doing football numbers in prison. Oh, and if Dee gets locked up, her four children won’t be given to Xzibit’s character, but dumped in foster care. Nice.

Even as I tick off the films on X’s resume¬¬–XXX, Derailed, X-Files and Gridiron Gang—he has yet to impress me as an actor. I know, I know, everyone can’t rock the old man naps and cry convincingly like Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happyness. I just hate when a director sticks a rapper in a film, who should clearly stick to rapping, welding or cementing, just to increase the coins at the box office. But in American Violet, I doubt if anyone is rushing out to see X, so that may not be the case here.

I just hope that X holds up his end of the screen, especially opposite newcomer Nicole Behaire. Free tix to the screening escaped my desk, but I’m happy to pay money, even in a recession, to see this flick. Peep the trailers. They’re pretty nutz, specifically, Behaire’s performance. The ink isn’t even dry on her Juilliard diploma and she’s acting as if her life depends on it. (Check out the trailer where she’s about to bash Xzbit’s car.) Even crotchety film critic Rex Reed was impressed with the film and chick’s skills. Guess I’ll have to wait until Friday to see X’s performance.–Miss One

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  • Pierzy

    I think Common has done a pretty respectable job acting, especially one of his bigger roles in Smokin’ Aces…

    Xzibit is a much better actor than anybody else on the West (Dre, Snoop, Game) since Mr. Shakur.

    • General

      Yeah Common was good in Smokin Aces. I think he will be able to continue doin roles, obviously not on Will Smith’s level, but Will was never on Common’s level when it came to the mic.

      • Arcey

        but Will Smith worked on his craft to get to play the roles he’s given now. He started out with Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for 5-6 years, then he did that movie with Lil’ Wang’s mom & Ted Danson, where he was still a actin’ rapper. Then there was Six Degrees of Separation (he’s lucky that it was a time without internet/ISP’s & No Homo) that gave him credential in the industry to finally do every movies he did since

        • BIGNAT

          even though he was not in it for long common was good in street kings. common was like a monster in that movie. he had a level of agression that i thought he did not have. i guess you could say he was doing some good acting. forrest whitaker at the end took the whole movie though. if they would have used someone other than keanu reeves like the guy from running scared. street kings could have been classic

        • squadwildin

          Hold on…what about Ice Cube?

  • http://xxl ryan

    the problem is that every dam artist think they can do things besides their craft. beyonce for example. she can sing n dance. if you are waiting 4 me 2 say something else forget about it. she cant act worth a dam. shit the bitch cant even write a song. long story short stick 2 ur craft n dont branch out becuz you will be making a fool of urself. 2pac is the only artist i know that has done a great job in acting n music.

    • benjamin bixby III




  • geico lizard

    THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS. Beyonce is also a musician who cant act for shit. Its insane that they dont just take a few acting lessons. They have a bunch of asskissers around them saying they deserve oscars for straight to dvd movies. Will Smith switched to acting with alot of success but he is also articulate and works on his craft.

    • tyson mike

      Actauly Will Smith switched to music he started acting then as a side hustle he made a few albums, but he main goal was to always be the best acter of all time. i think he has acomplished that.

      • Stevie B

        Will Smith is a great actor but I dont believe he is the best I think Denzel is better Deniro and a couple others are better then Will. He might be one of the biggest stars though.

  • tyson mike

    xzibit is a great acting to me gridiron gang was an awsome movie, will smith is the best acter of all time.
    tupac would be a great acter if he was still alive.
    DMX is my faveriot to look out for.
    the game should just stop now.
    common is annoying on screen.
    50 cent got some skill.
    i wanna see eminem in some more movies.

  • Tony Grand$

    Rap is like a gateway career, be it good or bad. [The "industry believes that] If you can make @ least one decent album, than you have the ability to successfully do all things possible. Fashion, entertainment, restaraunts, you name it, a rapper is doing it. Doing it well (no Cool J) though, is another story.

    I believe that most rappers/singers are actor to begin with, even if they’re just acting like they have talent, so that should translate onto the silver screen. No Dice. Ice T, Snoop, Mac 10, Master P (ugh!), the list is endless. Oh yeah, Common was in Street Kingz with Keanu Reeves also. But most of these guys should stick to volleying for a spot on the soundtracks to whatever movie scripts they’re chasing.

    & reality shows don’t count as acting, in case there’s any confusion.

  • General

    The bottom line is all these rappers are going to try to cash in on whatever they can. And lets be real, the Hollywood money is much larger than the music money. All you have to do is look at the figures for this year and see while Hollywood is enjoying its biggest year ever, the music industry is again for what seems like the 20th straight year, not so much enjoying its worst ever year

  • Curtis75Black

    If you’re not really checkin’ for X, why even write about it ? Seems like you just wanted to crticize the fact that our emcees whether decent or not get other opportunties to deliver on Tv or Movie screens. You realize, if they write their own music, learning lines for a movie ain’t shit and if they have been in countless videos, being in front of a camera ain’t shit either !! Maybe it’s the roles they play that really gets to you but that shouldn’t be an issue either being how most are not what they claim to be on the mic anyway – Straight Outta Compton could’ve been a movie in itself back in 88. This isn’t new anyway, Diana Ross was in The Wiz and Lady sings the blues, Janet Jackson was in Good Times and Fame (TV Show). We at one time celebrated the gifts given to our peeps, now we shun them even though if we was musicians and George Lucas gave us Opportunity and 10 Million Check to play a role in One of His Movies, No doubt we’ll take it.

  • El Tico Loco

    What about Cube? That’s the only raptor (no Bosch) that can balance being in good movies and making good albums.

    • Tony Grand$

      @El Tico

      He’s been in some pretty good movies, but I wouldn’t label him a good actor. He basically has played Doughboy in different variations in all his movies. Facial expressions, cadence, body movements, etc. I think it’s his co-stars who make or break him.

      • El Tico Loco

        Oh no I never said he was a good actor just that his movies are as good as the albums, his career is straight not too many people are respected on both ends of the business. Will Smith can if he was to get back to his story raps which was his strenght when he was a rapper.

        • Tony Grand$

          Yeah, I do like the movie roles he choose/movies he produces. I just wish he would stop trying to be the lead in every one that he writes.

      • foolio_iglesias

        Which is why I’ve always referred to Oshea as ‘the man of a thousand-less faces’ when it came to his acting.

  • Curtis75Black

    @ El Tico,

    Its all about the roles they play. Pac was given props for Juice because he was aggresive, looked at sideways because of Poetic Justice and had no choice but to go back to Lucky in Above the Rim. A good actor nontheless but his roles weren’t all that diverse. Will Smith constantly plays good guys and heroes. I want to see him rip a pyschopathic Killer. LL, whether you like him or not has been the most diverse along with Queen latifah with the roles they play.

    I want to see Beans play a Dectective, I want to see Cam’Ron play a prosecutor. I feel they can pull that off.

  • Mikey F Baby

    Xzibit doesn’t even get credit for being in the damn movie on Netflix..i mean…

  • Mikey F Baby

    and btw, Cam’ron was the shit in Paid In Full…sure he really playing a version of himself…and Killa Season was….well you know. But I’m surprised he hasn’t been in anything else noteworthy

    • Curtis75Black

      Thats the biggest problem with our emcees. They play extentions of themselves. Will in Fresh Prince of Bel air, Latifah and Pac in Juice, LL in The Hard Way and Treach in Jason’s Lyric. I liked Cam in Paid in Full and saw him doing other noteworthy shit if he saw the right role for himself but it has to be away from Hip Hop. That’s when you get props from me.

  • $ykotic

    WTF?!! No Bow Wow? T.I.?

    Ice T ain’t bad either people. The top “ractors”:

    Big Willie Smith
    Ice T
    LL Cool J
    Da Queen Latifah
    Jamie Foxx(Yes he counts. Fresstyle his ass off)

    Honorable mention-The rest

  • Incilin

    “I just hate when a director sticks a rapper in a film, who should clearly stick to rapping, ”

    ^^^ What makes you think a director was the one who did that? 9 times out of 10 its a producer who wants to appeal to the “hip young urban crowd” who decides to put a rapper in a movie and forces a director to live with it. Directors ought to have total control over their movies, but most times they have a lot of control, but the studio has final say. Especially in a wide release, big budget film.

    Do you seriously think a great director (and old man) like Ridley Scott is really that big a fan of hip hop that he put TI, Common, and RZA in his film, American Gangster? According to RZA, when he asked Scott about his Wu-Tang tattoo appearing on screen Scott replied saying, “It’s fine, I’m pretty sure that logo existed before you did.”

    • Stevie B

      Yo Incilin directors should never get total control of there movies they make bad decisions to and a lot them cn be pompous and arrogant.
      I think Common is going to be a great actor one day just a feeling I have.
      As far as Ridley Scott and the producer Brian Grazer go they went over budget on the film early which is why they had to bring in Russell Crowes character he wasnt even in the original script.
      But who cares American Ganster kinda sucked anyway lol!

      • Incilin

        Absolutely not. Yes, directors can be arrogant and pretentious and self righteous and totally wrong sometimes. But producers and studio heads are like that all the time. That’s why auteurs like Robert Altman, David Lynch, and the late great Orson Wells spent more time fighting the Hollywood system than making films. If you really think executives know more about film than the artists who create them, I highly suggest you watch the original and the studio cut of Sergio Leon’s Once Upon A Time In America.

        I have no idea where this “feeling” for Common comes from.

        • Stevie B

          I never said that execs know more about films then the people that created them. But a lot of studio execs have been around for decades and your mistaken if you think they know nothing.
          Execs do know how to sell movies directors do not. I do appreciate real cinema which you seem to also but you know as well as I do that if the movie does not make money it means nothing.
          Some of the same studios that make bullshit movies also support good indie indies as well.
          I just think you need both to succeed thats all.

  • Master CHeef

    Mark Wahlberg

    • render

      marky mark aint no damn mc

      • Master CHeef

        just a joke, plus the post said rapper-turnt-actor, not mc-turnt-actor.

  • render

    diddy wasnt too bad in monsters ball

    died like a motherfucka