10 Rappers That Deserve an Oscar
Congrats to Argo and everything, but here at XXL, we’re still waiting for hip-hop to get it’s due for it’s contributions to cinema. While there weren’t any major snubs this year, we can’t help but still be moderately salty about some of our favorite rappers and flicks which have never earned an Academy Award. So it’s only right that we took matters into our own hands. Here’s 10 Rappers Who Deserve an Academy Award.
Diddy in Get Him To The Greek
Who would have thought in a moving starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand, it would be Diddy that brought the most laughs. The Bad Boy Records founder shined throughout as Sergio Roma, Jonah Hill’s mind-fucking boss. Our favorite moments? Eating his own head in Aaron’s hallucination and chasing the two stars down a hotel hallway while screaming “YOU CAN NOT OUT RUN ME. I AM BLACK!” Somebody get this man a Best Supporting Actor trophy.
Cam'ron in Paid in Full
Listen, we're not totally sold on Cam as an actor. Killa Season was pretty abysmal. But regardless, there's no denying his performance in Paid in Full was totally awesome. In his acting debut, Cam was convincing as Rico, Mitch's hot-headed, backstabbing muscle. He later acknowledged his own greatness on "I Really Mean It" when he rapped "Look at my life/First movie ever, murked out Mekhi Phife."
Will Smith in Independence Day
Will Smith’s 1996 sci-fi smash hit Independence Day helped launch his acting career. He played pilot Captain Steve Hillier who was in charge of thwarting an alien invasion that occurred on July 4th. It wasn’t a typical, over-the-top, old B movie, but rather showcased a young Will at his best. The combination of memorable lines—“Welcome to Earth!”—and grand visual spectacles made Independence Day an instant fan favorite. If there was one film to remind us of Smith’s early star power, it was his performance here.
Method Man and Redman in How High
How High gained a cult following for Meth and Red’s portrayal of two underachieving stoners who get admitted into Harvard University. Finding magical marijuana that enhances their intelligence worked in their favor in acing every exam thrown at them. They pursue an esteemed Ivy League degree, but run into various road bumps that are hilarious. In the spirit of Cheech & Chong’s classic stoner comedies, Method Man and Redman’s on-screen characters are very funny. Could you imagine the acceptance speech if they won an Oscar?
Eminem in 8 Mile
So Em did win the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2004 for "Lose Yourself," but his acting chops in the flick weren't given the same acknowledgement. That's a snub, and we can only hope that's not the reason Shady hasn't pursued too many acting opportunities since.
DMX in Belly
X made his big screen debut in the Hype Williams directed Belly, where he shared leading man credits with Nas. And while X didn't have to stray too far from his comfort zone for the role of Tommy Buns, he excelled in it. And maybe X's acting abilities just looked good in comparison to Nas' flat delivery, but we should probably just get him an Oscar anyway, 'cause we don't want to know what will happen if he finds out he didn't already win one.
Tupac in Juice
Oscars could have certainly been in 'Pac's future had his life not been snatched so early. His performance as Bishop in the 1992 film, Juice, was spectacular, and as his character's life spiraled out of control, Tupac became more and more convincing.
Ice Cube in Boyz n the Hood
Ice Cube kicked off an impressive career in Hollywood with Boyz n the Hood, John Singleton's classic urban drama. While the flick got 1991 Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, Cube's portrayal of Doughboy needed it's own recognition.
RZA, for the score of Ghost Dog
The year was 1999. While the world was trembling with fear of the hyped Y2K, the Wu-Tang abbot was busy sculpting soundscapes for the Forest Whitaker-starring action galore Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. Asian code of ethics (legendary samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s teachings) studied by an Afrocentric warrior? Sounds like the perfect film for the RZA’s wizardry. And he sure dictated his first scoring gig properly adding creepy samples and oddly chopped drums to accentuate each scene’s wary tone.
Gucci Mane in Spring Breakers
Yeah, yeah, we know what you’re thinking: This movie isn’t even out yet. Well it’s called deductive reasoning, folks. When you have Harmony Korine directing a film starring James Franco, Selena Gomez and Gucci Mane, what else do you really need to know? Throw some Riff Raff controversy in there too, and it’s a wrap. Our message to the Academy? Put Gucci Mane’s name on the Best Supporting Actor Award for 2013. It’ll save you a lot of time later.