To show versatility and improve their portfolios, rappers often venture outside of hip-hop music. Whether it’s fashion, media production, real estate, or tech, more and more rappers are venturing outside of music to see where they can display their skill sets and make money.
One of the most common ventures for an artist outside music, especially for rappers, is acting. Acting is often considered a relative of music. When we look more closely, the film requires music to help communicate various emotions. In reverse, music requires music videos (film) to help further communicate the track.
The two art forms are intertwined, so it is no wonder that the first step outside of music for artists is film. However, acting is not easy, and music artists cannot just walk onto a set thinking that they are in for an easy ride. Acting is a hard craft that requires hours and, for professionals, years of honing your skills until you get every emotion down to a tee. How you walk, talk, and even breathe can change the emotion you evoke.
In the spirit of Halloween, we’re looking at five times that we have seen a rapper appear in a horror movie so it’s about to get spooky.
Five times rappers appeared in horror movies:
5. Busta Rhymes – Halloween: Resurrection, (2002)
2002 not only saw Busta Rhymes release his platinum-selling album It Ain’t Safe No More…, but it also saw him make an interesting and unannounced cameo in a film. An instalment of the Halloween movie franchise Halloween: Resurrection also stars Jamie Lee Curtis as well as celebrity and model Tyra Banks.
In the film, Busta plays the role of Freddie Harris, a university student. In the film, university students appear on a reality television show which challenges them to spend a night in the abandoned childhood home of the infamous protagonist, Michael Myers, an evil and unkillable serial killer. During the film, Busta Rhymes electrocutes Myers as he attacks and tells him, “Happy Halloween!” A classic, this 2002 horror is a must-watch film.
4. Snoop Dogg – Bones, (2001)
Snoop Dogg is one of hip hop’s most beloved MCs. Rising to prominence by the side of Tupac and Dr Dre on Death Row Records. With the beef of the 1990s firmly behind him, just after the turn of the millennium, Snoop Dogg took up the opportunity to appear in the 2001 horror film Bones.
Bones sees the Long Beach rapper play the role of Jimmy Bones, a dead numbers runner who has risen up to avenge his death. Directed by Ernest Dickerson, the film is widely considered as a blaxploitation and supernatural-horror crossover. A fairly exciting watch, Snoop Dogg went on to plant many more cameos and has since been featured in films such as Meet The Blacks and Dolemite Is My Name.
3. Ice Cube – Ghosts Of Mars, (2001)
Ice Cube is most definitely the rapper with the most film cameos. In fact, akin to 50 Cent, after his run in hip hop, Ice Cube turned his attention to film. However, unlike 50 Cent, rather than film and TV production, Ice Cube turned toward acting, and for a new generation of kids, the rapper is mostly known as an actor as opposed to a musician.
In Ghosts Of Mars, Ice Cube plays the role of James ‘Desolation’ Williams, a convicted felon who has just escaped jail in a deserted part of Mars called Shining Canyon. Here, he is rescued by two officials from the Martian police. However, they end up facing the Ghosts of those who died in the mining disaster that occurred in Shining Canyon. Together with others, the rapper has to fight off these ghosts on Mars.
An interesting western-style ghost film it also has sci-fi elements. The movie also features Jason Statham.
2. Rah Digga – Thir13en Ghosts, (2001)
Another 2001 film, Thir13en Ghosts, stars Busta Rhymes’ fellow Flipmode Squad crew member, Rah Digga. In this film, Digga plays the role of Maggie, a ghost hunter who is helping to organise the killing of someone in order to exorcise a house possessed by ghosts.
As Arthur Tony Shalhoub inhabits a house under the premise that his uncle has died, however, he quickly realises that the house was being used as a prison for the ghosts that his uncle was capturing. He seeks help and finds out that the only way to rid the house of ghosts is to sacrifice his children; however, there is a compelling plot twist. A must-watch horror film.
1. LL Cool J – Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, (1998)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is a 1998 slasher film in the Halloween franchise. Directed by Steve Miner, it brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, who must confront her brother, Michael Myers, twenty years after the original 1978 film. The movie delivers suspense and nostalgia for fans of the series.
Another instalment of the Halloween movie franchise, preceding the 2001 edition that Busta Rhymes was in this part of the franchise, features legendary ‘Rock The Bells’ rapper LL Cool J. Playing the role of Ronny Jones, a security guard.
LL is accidentally shot while patrolling the campus of Hillcrest Academy because Michael Myers is lurking. Attracted to the school because Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee-Curtis) is working and living on campus as headmistress. Myers is on the hunt to kill. The rapper is accidentally shot by Laurie’s boyfriend, Will who also lives on campus with her.