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A Definitive Ranking of Rappers as Actors

Updated October 1, 2019 15.7k votes 2.0k voters 57.9k 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.

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  • Will Smith1
    695
    205

    Will Smith

    Men in Black, Enemy of the State
  • Ice Cube2
    676
    200

    Ice Cube

    Boyz n the Hood, Barbershop
  • Eminem3
    599
    250

    Eminem

    8 Mile, Funny People
    Spotify buy button
  • Ice-T4
    472
    202

    Ice-T

    Law & Order: SVU, New Jack City
  • Queen Latifah5
    426
    189

    Queen Latifah

    Chicago, Hairspray
  • Mark Wahlberg6
    523
    249

    Mark Wahlberg

    Three Kings, Boogie Nights
  • LL Cool J7
    434
    199

    LL Cool J

    Any Given Sunday, Deep Blue Sea
    Spotify buy button
  • Tupac8
    589
    296

    Tupac

    Juice, Above the Rim
  • Ludacris9
    419
    196

    Ludacris

    Crash, Fast & Furious 6
  • Snoop Dogg10
    390
    194

    Snoop Dogg

    Training Day, Old School
  • 50 Cent11
    412
    211

    50 Cent

    Get Rich or Die Tryin', Escape Plan
  • Idris Elba12
    360
    183

    Idris Elba

    The Wire, Luther
  • DMX13
    346
    203

    DMX

    Exit Wounds, Never Die Alone
  • Common14
    317
    184

    Common

    American Gangster, Now You See Me
  • Mos Def15
    320
    194

    Mos Def

    16 Blocks, The Italian Job
  • Andre 300016
    294
    188

    Andre 3000

    Jimi: All Is by My Side, Idlewilde
  • T.I.17
    288
    192

    T.I.

    American Gangster, Identity Thief
  • Method Man18
    269
    190

    Method Man

    Scary Movie 3, Garden State
  • Eve19
    205
    185

    Eve

    Barbershop, Whip It
  • O'Shea Jackson Jr.20
    44
    26

    O'Shea Jackson Jr.

    Straight Outta Compton
  • Lauryn Hill21
    175
    202

    Lauryn Hill

    Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Hav Plenty
  • Nelly22
    174
    206

    Nelly

    The Longest Yard, Reach Me
  • Nick Cannon23
    168
    235

    Nick Cannon

    Men in Black II, Monster House
  • RZA24
    144
    217

    RZA

    Kill Bill Volume 1, American Gangster
  • Drake25
    84
    167

    Drake

    Degrassi: The Next Generation, Charlie Bartlett