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]