When we were freshmen in high school ten years ago, Eminem’s portrayal of struggling rapper Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith (A.K.A. himself) in 8 Mile was an inspiration. The monster hit “Lose Yourself” from the soundtrack became our personal pump up jam to run laps during gym class, and gave us the confidence to take that “one shot” and ask Jenna to the prom, try out for the class play, or pass that chem test! Plus it was also notable for changing the way we thought of the phrase “mom’s spaghetti” forever.
However as we got a little older, we realized the one shot ol’ Marshall Matthers was rapping about was much more serious than our day to day high school drama. It was about reconciling hopes and dreams with growing up and responsibility, all against the bleek Detroit backdrop. By no means a quick flick rushed out to capitalize on his skyrocketing fame, Eminem gave an incredible performance, made all the more amazing considering it was his first movie!
But Eminem is by no means the only rapper who tried his hand at acting. In fact, it seemed like every MC has made the jump to films at one time or another. Some totally killed it and became a successful multi-talented crossover artist, while others…made Soul Plane. So in honor of Em’s epic 8 Mile turning 10 years old today, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of our favorite rappers-turned-movie stars over the years. Enjoy!
[Photo: Universal/Warner Brothers/Miramax]
In addition to keeping the proud tradition of “black angry captains” alive in his upcoming action-comedy 21 Jump Street, Ice Cube gushed to BMBL this morning about his costars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. “Jonah is incredibly smart and witty,” the rapper and actor raved. That being said, just because Ice considers himself the “teacher” to their “grasshoppers” doesn’t mean he wouldn’t immediately (and gleefully!) send both of them to the slammer if they were up to no good. Which, we mean, just look at them. You know they are.
“I would arrest Jonah first. ”Cause’s the sneaky one,” Ice Cube muses. “With Channing, it’s all out in the open; you know he’s going to have a joint or two in his pocket. But Jonah, he’ll trick you. You think he’s a nice guy; he’s got all the pills in pocket.” Yeah, seems about right. Oh, and in case you were still pondering the exact date on which Ice’s song “It Was A Good Day” took place, the answer is not January 20, 1992 as was calculated in the Tumblr-verse. “That day sucked for me,” Ice laughs, before explaining, “‘It Was A Good Day’ is an accumulation. It’s actually a fantasy of what I would like at that time as a good day.”
In the words of Stephanie Tanner, “How rude!” The scenario could not be more different from the Tanner household, but the sentiment is the same: Ice Cube was ditched by Dr Dre midway through a recording session. This obviously caused some major problems because they had to scratch the whole track they were working on for Ice’s new album I Am The West which drops today. Says Cube, “We did the records, but we didn’t finish them. So, I felt like I didn’t wanna put them out unless they was finished. Or what’s the use? I’ll get ‘em finished sooner or later, and put ‘em out.”
We’re not talking about a “I’m just heading out for cigarettes” walkout, either. We’re talking a call-the-F.B.I-’cause-he’s gone scenario. The abandoned rapper explained, “Dre went M.I.A.; I don’t know where he at. If y’all find him, tell him to give me a call.” And we gotta say he’s being most gracious about it to, probably because he knows he’s not the only one to get that treatment. Ice Cube added, “It’s cool, he went M.I.A. on Snoop [Dogg] too. Everybody wanna work with him, so it’s up to him on who he wants to work with, who he don’t wanna work with.”
Ice reckons that there’s frost between them ever since he left N.W.A in the late ’80′s. (We still have the Straight Outta Compton album lying around somewhere, FYI). He revealed, “It’s a distant relationship. It’s been distant ever since I left N.W.A., so I don’t expect that to change. We all went our separate ways back then, we was youngsters. We’re grown now.”
Point made, but Dre going M.I.A still seems totally sketchy. You don’t just walk out of a project without so much as an explanation. Call Ice, Dre!
[Photo: Getty Images]
There’s no tradition in hip-hop more exciting than the feud. Since the earliest days of street-corner rhyme battles, MCs have been taking each other head-on, fighting to be the best on the block, the hottest in the neighborhood, or the king of the whole game. Rap beefs can originate anywhere, from a subtle slight to a full-on threat. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re tragic, and sometimes they’re just plain weird. Here, from old-school word wars to semi-automatic shootouts, we count down the ten biggest feuds in rap history. Click into the gallery below to begin. [Photos: Getty Images]
In 2007, Snoop Dogg was refused permission to apply for a visa to enter Australia because of his criminal record (which includes drug charges, firearms possession and a murder acquittal). Aussie immigration officials have recently had a change of heart though (no doubt ensuring they get honorary membership to the Dogg Pound), by reconsidering giving him a temporary visa for his tour with Ice Cube, scheduled for October. If he is allowed in, the country would require him to attend special counseling prior to his arrival and adhere to a strict set of behavior rules while there (no weed, only Fosters beer?).
A member of the Australian Family Association, Angela Conway, still isn’t having it though, saying that “Snoop Dogg trades in toxic messages of menace, violence, misogyny and lawlessness.” Which, okay, yes, is true. But for a country where Russell Crowe is allowed to roam freely and baby-eating dingoes are par for the course, they sure are selective. Snoop’s approval process is already under way, but the visa hasn’t been made official yet.
After the jump, a compilation of Snoop Dogg faces that wreak of sex, violence and weed — all categorized for your convenience. Warning to Australians: This will scare you!
Ever wonder why Ice Cube, once AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, has been getting hit in the nuts by children in movies like Are We Done Yet? and The Longshots? “Being in the industry for over twenty years, I’ve realized that my true fan base has kids – just like me. I needed to make a connection to the next generation and hopefully keep some continuity in these households and sustain my career.” Career-sustaining? Maybe. But judging from recent lyrics, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of “continuity” between his movies and music. Uncle Cube might urge Keke Palmer to believe in herself when The Longshots comes out Friday, but on wax it’s still about “I know you full of liquor, put it on my zipper.”