Here you will find a list of 10 rappers who have turned their skill to acting on the big screen. Some were more successful than others. Hope you enjoy.


Although Common is a Grammy Award-winning hip-hop star, he is relatively unknown in the UK (for his singing at least). He is, however, known for his acting ‘talents’ in stuff such as ‘Smokin’ Aces’, ‘Wanted’, ‘AmericanGangster’ and ‘Terminator Salvation’.


Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers III, has sold over 70 million albums worldwide and has even won a Grammy. Mathers turned his skills to the big screen in the semi-autobiographical film ‘8 Mile’. The film won Eminem an Oscar, not for his acting skills but for best original song.

Cover of 8 Mile (Widescreen Edition)

Ice Cube

Ice Cube, real name O’Shea Jackson, once claimed that life was all about ‘bitches and money’, perhaps acting could be added to that for him. His first film role was in ‘Boyz N the Hood’ but he has also appeared in ‘ThreeKings’, ‘Are We There Yet?’ and ‘Barbershop’.

Ice T

Real name Tracy Marrow (no snickering at the back!), Ice T first appeared in ‘New Jack City’. A few more big film roles took place before he soon found himself only being hired on films that were destined to be straight-to-DVD releases. But he soon found himself back in favour after landing a part in the TV series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

LL Cool J

James Todd Smith III (to give him his real name) has had a recording career that has spanned two decades but music isn’t his only talent. He has appeared in movies such as ‘Rollerball’, ‘Deep Blue Sea’ and ‘Any GivenSunday’. Have you ever wondered what LL Cool J stands for? Ladies Love Cool James!

Image via Wikipedia


Ludacris is the highest selling southern States hip-hop star of all time. In the US alone he has shifted over 11 million records. His acting ability was well received in ‘Crash’ but not so much his role in ‘Fred Claus’. For those that are wondering, Ludacris’s real name is Chris Bridges.

Mos Def

The most challenging role Mos Def has had was the role of Booth in ‘Topdog/Underdog’. His hard work seemed to have paid off though as it became a Tony-nominated and Pulitzer-winning Broadway play. Mos Def, real name Dante Terrell Smith, has earned a Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for his craft.

Queen Latifah

Dana Elaine Owens, to give her real name, is one of Hollywood’s hottest female leads. No, seriously. Her movie work has earned her a Golden Globe, an Emmy nomination, two Screen Actors Guild. The ‘piece de resistance’though was the Academy award for ‘Chicago’.

Image via Wikipedia


Clifford Joseph Harris Jr has hit the top spot in the US charts on a few occasions and has had many more top 10 hits and has just recently stepped into the movie industry. He appeared in ‘ATL’ and, more famously, in’American Gangster’.

Will Smith

As a rapper, Will Smith may not be everyone’s cup of tea (although at least the lyrics are child friendly) but as a movie star, he is right up there near the top. Famed in his younger days for the TV show ‘Fresh Prince of BelAir’, as he got older his film career went stellar. He was the first rapper to be nominated for and Oscar, the first one to win two of them. Smith is also the only actor to have 8 consecutive films gross over $100 million at the US box office.

P.S. This article was originally published by the same author on Triond on the 14th of November 2009 and can be found by clicking HERE.