With the impending release of rap icon Nas executively produced film got us thinking: What other musical masterminds have made the transition to film? The idea of rappers becoming actors has become the norm and is no longer a big deal because some of them are actually good. The new focus is directing or producing films. It’s not for everyone but each media requires the same skill set: an imagination, quick decision making to survive in the entertainment industry and patience.
Be sure to catch “The Land” in theaters July 29th, 2016.
ICE CUBE – O’Shea Jackson is one of the very first rappers to make a notable transition to acting and quickly into filmmaking. He co-wrote the screenplay “Friday” sequels and was then given his first opportunity to direct his next script “The Player’s Club.” Most recently, he produced “Straight Outta Compton” and the “Barbershop,” “Are We There Yet?” and “Ride Along” franchises.
RZA – Former Wu-Tang Clan member RZA is the latest rapper turned filmmaker with his directorial debut “The Man With The Iron Fists.” This was a career move that was bound to happen since he has been acting in and composing for films since the 1999’s.
50 CENT – Curtis Jackson is the prime example of how money makes everything better in life. He was not complacent with just being a rapper who was shot; so now he has his own clothing line, shares in a vitamin drink which was bought out by Coca Cola and now he thinks he is a movie star and director. 50 Cent started Cheetah Vision, a production company that produces low budget action thrillers for the foreign markets.
KANYE WEST – Unlike others on this list, Mr. West did not make a turn to acting prior to directing his own long-form music videos. His directorial work has always been out of the box ideas so there was no surprise when he produced his first musical short film “Runaway”, tied to the rapper’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” album. This year he premiered a visual for “Famous” which is exclusively on Tidal.
ICE T – Acting almost as long as he’s been rapping, this star of “Law & Order: SVU” has been a longtime movie producer, getting his start in 1999. He claims to have caught the directing bug with titles like “Judgement Night,” “Corrupt,” and “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap” under his belt.
NAS – Lastly, we have Nasir Jones, a rap icon in the music industry and now he is making a name in the film industry as he holds the title of executive producer for his first film “The Land.”
IFC Films’ “The Land” opens in New York & Los Angeles on July 29th with a nationalwide release shortly after. It will be available on VOD/iTunes on August 4th!