Way before rappers like Diddy, T.I. and Flavor Flav were starring on reality television series on networks like MTV and VH1, one young rapper was killing it on the Billboard charts and the small screen. Will Smith was that rapper and actor as he rose to fame starring in "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and rapping as the Fresh Prince alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff. Smith went on to have a long and wildly successful entertainment career.
Just like Will Smith, many rappers made the move to acting and saw great success as a result. Ice-T brought his gangsta rap style to the long-running "Law & Order" series as a main cast member of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." LL Cool J, who also appeared in several movies, can now be seen as a lead on the CBS procedural "NCIS: Los Angeles." Rapper Common joined the AMC network with a role on the western series "Hell on Wheels."
For other rappers, the road to becoming a television star skipped the script in favor of reality TV. The likes of Diddy, T.I., 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and Flavor Flav have all appeared on their own reality shows. While some shows were more successful than others, fans flocked to the chance to see inside the daily lives of their favorite rappers.
Who are some rappers with TV shows? Take a look here and see for yourself.
Not all of the crossovers were successful but each attempt allowed fans to see another side of the top '90s rappers and the top '00s rappers. Which rap star of today will be the next big thing in television? Stay tuned fans, as these various music-to-television transitions have shown us, anything is possible.
Perhaps the first big rapper to get his own television show was Will Smith who famously starred on "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" in the 1990s.
#306 on The Best Pop Groups/Artistssee more on Will Smith
In addition to acting roles on television and in film, Snoop Dogg has appeared in his own television series such as the MTV sketch comedy show "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle" and the E! reality show "Snoop Dogg's Father Hood."
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#576 on The Funniest People of All Timesee more on Snoop Dogg
The former "Marky Mark" is now an established television and film actor with small screen credits which include an actor and executive producer role on "Entourage."
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Grammy Award-winning rapper Ice-T not only stars in the procedural "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" but also on his own reality show, "Ice Loves Coco."
#556 on The Best Actors in Film Historysee more on Ice-T
Established rapper LL Cool J made the successful transition to acting in the 2000s including starring on the CBS crime drama NCIS: Los Angeles.
#436 on The Worst Bands of All Timesee more on LL Cool J
Rapper and actor T.I. is no stranger to reality TV program including appearing on "T.I.'s Road to Redemption" and with wife Tameka "Tiny" Cottle on "T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle."
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Chicago rapper Common ventured into acting and never looked back including getting a prominent role on the AMC western series "Hell on Wheels."
#963 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time
#40 on The Best Neo Soul Artists
#14 on The Best Freestyle Rapperssee more on Common
G-Unit member 50 Cent had an unsuccessful MTV "Apprentice"-style reality show titled "50 Cent: The Money and the Power" which ran for only a month before it was cancelled.
#802 on The Best Singers of All Time
#55 on The Worst Bands of All Timesee more on 50 Cent