Published on June 12th 2010 by Leon Shepherd

This list consists of reputable rappers who were able to turn their rapping careers into successful television and movie careers. The bigger the impact the rapper has made in the television and movie industry, the higher he/she ranked on the list. So, without further ado, here’s my list of the “Top 10 Rappers Turned Actors.” Let the Top 10 debate begin!


10. Redman


 Rap Hits include: “Blow Your Mind”, “How High” & “Whatever Man.”

Television & Movie credits include: “The Wayans Brothers”, “The Jamie Foxx Show” & “How High.”


9. Common


Rap hits include: “Take It EZ”, “Soul by the Pound,” & “Reminding Me (Of Sef)”.

Movie credits include: “Smokin Aces”, “American Gangster” &  “Street Kings.”


8. Tupac Shakur


Rap hits include: “Dear Momma”, “How Do you Want It” & “Keep Ya Head up.”

Movie credits include: “Juice”, “Poetic Justice” & “Above the Rim.”


7. Ludacris


Rap hits include: “What’s Your Fantasy”, “Area Codes” & “Stand Uo.”

Movie credits include: “Crash”, “Hustle & Flow” & 2 Fast 2 Furious.”


6. Snoop Dogg


Rap hits include: “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?)”, “Gin and Juice” & “Drop It like It’s Hot.”

Movie credits include: “Baby Boy”, “Starsky & Hutch” & “Training Day.”


5. L.L. Cool J.


Rap hits include: “Mama Said Knock You Out”, “Around the Way Girl” & “Going Back to Cali.”

Television & Movie credits include:  “In The House”, “Any Given Sunday” & “In Too Deep.”


4. Ice T


Rap hits include: “Killers”, “I’m Your Pusher” & “Original Gangstar.”

Television & Movie credits include:  “Law & Order”, “New Jack City” & “Ricochet.”


3. Ice Cube


Rap hits include: “Wicked”, “It Was A Good Day” & “Check Yo Self.”

Television & Movie credits include: “Boyz n the Hood”, “Friday” & “BarberShop.”


 2.  Queen Latifah


 Rap hits include: “Ladies First”, “Fly Girl” & “U.N.I.T.Y.”

Television & Movie credits include: “Living Single’, “Set It Off” & “Hairspray.”


 1. Will Smith


 Rap hits include:  “Parents Just Don’t Understand”, “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It” & “Wild Wild West.”

Television & Movie credits include: “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, “Independence Day” & The Pursuit of Happyness.”

Entertainment, Music | Comments (15)

15 Responses to “Top 10 Rappers Turned Actors”

  1. Shack Says:

    Very nice My only comments are:

    - Many don’t remember that Will S. was a rapper.

    - Thought the “Wild Wild West” was performed by Kool Moe D.

    - Believe Curtis Jackson a.k.a. Fifty Cent, is “hotter” than Redman!

  2. rod moore Says:

    What about DMX & Busta Rhymes?

  3. Leon Says:

    Shack, I agree that many don’t remember Will Smith as a rapper. Smith did a remake of the Wild Wild West that featured Kool Moe D in the video.
    I agree that 50 cent might be hotter, but as fas as who has made the more successful transition to acting, it would be Redman. 50 cent has only done a couple of movies, while Redman has done several movies and even had his own sitcom, “Method & Red.”

  4. Leon Says:

    Rod, DMX & Busta Rhymes were considered, as a matter of fact, DMX almost made the list, but I felt the others on the list made a more impactful transition to acting.

  5. Lenora Dorsey Says:

    Very Good. I think it’s sad that Queen Latifah is the only female in the bunch. I think the order is right. Do you really think that a lot of people do not remember Will Smith as a rapper? Of course, he’s most successful as an actor, but he was the first person that I enjoyed as a rapper and LL Cool J. Great job.

  6. Leon Says:

    Thanks Lenora! And the reason I think that a lot people may not remember Will S. as a rapper is not because he wasn’t good, but because his acting career has been so successful that it has overshadowed his career as a rapper.
    And the only other female I gave consideration for the list was a rapper by the name of MC Lyte. She’s done a few tv shows.

  7. Trisha Says:

    Great list, very close call with Will Smith and Queen Latifah. Her rapping skills I think are much better than WS but his movies make more money than hers. Overall good order.

  8. Leon Says:

    Thanks Trisha!

  9. Shack Says:

    Question to All – What about Puffy/P. Diddy?
    I have little respect for his talent but he does rank highly in the minds of many as a rapper/hip-hop artist. I heard him say on Nightline that he had several #1 hits although I don’t know what they are.

    And as far as his acting, he was ultimately pathetic in his attempt in “A Raisin In The Sun”

  10. Leon Says:

    Shack, Diddy didn’t make the list because the others on the list have had more memorable tv/movie roles.
    Case in point, Diddy’s performance in “A Raisin in The Sun,” as you duly noted.

  11. Shack Says:

    I do give him (Diddy) a “C” for his role in YOUR favorite movie “Monster’s Ball!” Give Halle B. a “B+” (not enough for an Academy Award)and Billy Bob an “F-!”

  12. Shonee Says:

    Hey Leon,

    Here are my comments to the list…I remember Will Smith as a rapper…my favorite song “Summertime”.

    I agree with the order from #’s 1-5. However,#’s 6-10 Im not so sure, I’ve never seen Redman in anything! In fact, Im surprised he even entered your thoughts, lol! What about Mos Def?

    @Shack..I didn’t see Diddy in “Raisin”. His music is good if you into those songs but he’s all over the place…I hear that he wants to replace Simon Cowell on American Idol.

  13. Leon Says:

    Shonee, guess what? Redman never entered my thoughts. lol To be honest with you, I’ve never seen him in anything. His selection was based solely on research. Everytime I looked up rappers who have made successful transitions to acting, his name was always mentioned.

    Good question regarding Mos Def.
    But what a lot of people don’t know is that Mos Def was an actor before he was a rapper.Therefore he didn’t qualify for the list.

    And “Summertime” is my favorite Will Smith song too.

  14. Shonee Says:

    @Leon, I didn’t know that about Mos Def and as for Redman, well he can remain on the list.

  15. Me!!! Says:

    Mos Def should definately be on here (but you already explained why he’s not). I’d rank Ludacris and Tupac higher though. Real underrated actors.