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A Definitive Ranking of Rappers as Actors

Updated October 1, 2019 16.1k votes 1.9k voters 57.6k views30 items

Prepare to be part of the most epic rap battle ever. Thanks to the team at Complex, we now finally have a definitive ranking of rappers as actors, decided on by lovers of entertainment like you! This list of rappers-turned-actors and hip hop stars who can act features everyone from recording artist Mark Whalberg to that lauded thespian, Ludacris. Some of these rap stars got their start in acting before finding a home behind the mic, while others became famous movie stars after an entire career making music. Did you know Idris Elba recorded a four-song EP and co-produced one of Jay-Z’s albums? Or that Mos Def starred in a Tony-nominated Broadway play?

Now it's time for you to be the judge: which rappers should have stuck to their day job? Which ones stand out on screen? And which ones should probably consider doing something else altogether? (We’re looking at you, Vanilla Ice.)

Vote up the best acting rappers in the game, and vote down the musicians you never want to see on camera ever again. In this rap battle, only the most dramatic will win.

If you like these rappers-turned-actors, be sure to check out our list of the best rapper movies.

Photo:
  • 1
    Ice Cube
    694
    203

    Ice Cube

    Boyz n the Hood, Barbershop
  • 2
    Will Smith
    709
    211

    Will Smith

    Men in Black, Enemy of the State
  • 3
    Eminem
    621
    254

    Eminem

    8 Mile, Funny People
    Spotify buy button
  • 4
    Ice-T
    489
    205

    Ice-T

    Law & Order: SVU, New Jack City
  • 5
    Queen Latifah
    440
    191

    Queen Latifah

    Chicago, Hairspray
  • 6
    LL Cool J
    447
    199

    LL Cool J

    Any Given Sunday, Deep Blue Sea
    Spotify buy button
  • 7
    Ludacris
    432
    197

    Ludacris

    Crash, Fast & Furious 6
  • 8
    Mark Wahlberg
    534
    261

    Mark Wahlberg

    Three Kings, Boogie Nights
  • 9
    Tupac
    606
    309

    Tupac

    Juice, Above the Rim
  • 10
    Snoop Dogg
    406
    196

    Snoop Dogg

    Training Day, Old School
  • 11
    50 Cent
    426
    216

    50 Cent

    Get Rich or Die Tryin', Escape Plan
  • 12
    Idris Elba
    364
    190

    Idris Elba

    The Wire, Luther
  • 13
    DMX
    353
    206

    DMX

    Exit Wounds, Never Die Alone
  • 14
    Common
    320
    190

    Common

    American Gangster, Now You See Me
  • 15
    Mos Def
    323
    200

    Mos Def

    16 Blocks, The Italian Job
  • 16
    Andre 3000
    302
    189

    Andre 3000

    Jimi: All Is by My Side, Idlewilde
  • 17
    T.I.
    295
    197

    T.I.

    American Gangster, Identity Thief
  • 18
    Method Man
    276
    193

    Method Man

    Scary Movie 3, Garden State
  • 19
    Eve
    210
    190

    Eve

    Barbershop, Whip It
  • 20
    O'Shea Jackson Jr.
    43
    26

    O'Shea Jackson Jr.

    Straight Outta Compton
  • 21
    Lauryn Hill
    181
    207

    Lauryn Hill

    Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Hav Plenty
  • 22
    Nelly
    180
    211

    Nelly

    The Longest Yard, Reach Me
  • 23
    Nick Cannon
    175
    239

    Nick Cannon

    Men in Black II, Monster House
  • 24
    RZA
    148
    221

    RZA

    Kill Bill Volume 1, American Gangster
  • 25
    Drake
    87
    174

    Drake

    Degrassi: The Next Generation, Charlie Bartlett