The Rapper : Vanilla Ice not only got his own starring vehicle in terrible ‘90s flop Cool As Ice, but he also pops up to deliver the ‘Ninja Rap’ in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.
Stick To The Day Job? Let’s face it, Vanilla Ice was never particularly good at the day job, either, which is why his appearance in TMNT2 is so offensive…
Funky White Kids
The Actors: Lisa Fuller has a spell cast on her in ‘80s comedy Teen Witch , and magically turns into a rapper. With her newfound abilities, she raps ‘Top That!’ with a group of, yes, funky white kids.
Stick To The Day Job? Though the result is hilarious, it’s also painful to behold.
The Actor: Bette Midler, who brightens up Hocus Pocus with a fun twist on ‘I Put A Spell On You’. Fun, that is, until the song’s apex, when she breaks into a little spellcasting rap…
Stick To The Day Job? Midler’s better known for her pipes than her ability to get down and rap with the homies, so we’d stay stick to that.
The Rapper: Better known as the host of Pimp My Ride than for any of his rap output, Xzibit’s CV includes xXx: State Of The Union and X-Files: I Want To Believe.
Stick To The Day Job? Xzibit’s good at being a menacing henchman, but he’s not exactly shown off much skill beyond that.
The Rapper: One half of OutKast, Big Boi has only four screen credits to his name, having appeared in ATL , Idlewild , Who’s Your Caddy? (groan) and Freaknik: The Musical.
Stick To The Day Job? There’s a reason Big Boi only has four screen credits – sadly, he’s no Denzel Washington. Thank goodness he still has OutKast.
The Actor: Dave Sheridan plays The Killer in this Scream spoof. After getting high with his intended victims, The Killer cracks out a little rap ditty .
Stick To The Day Job? We’d rather see The Killer slicing and dicing young things than rapping, based on the evidence.
The Rapper: His lyrics are all about politics and he’s a great live performer, but Black Thought went the acting route with Bamboozled in 2000, Perfume in 2001 and Brown Sugar in 2002.
Stick To The Day Job? We’d rather have this guy on soundtracks (he’s been on everything from Superbad to Blade II ) than on acting duties.
The Rapper: A regular presence on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Ja Rule bagged his first acting role opposite Jason Statham in Turn It Up before playing a street racer in the first Fast And Furious.
Stick To The Day Job? His charisma just about gets him by, but Ja Rule hasn’t shown much aptitude for acting so far. When his movie choices include things like Scary Movie 3 , it’s not hard to see why.
The Rapper: 50 Cent broke into movies with the less-than-thrilling likes of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ and Home Of The Brave before playing himself in comedy Morning Glory .
Stick To The Day Job? 50 Cent proved his dedication to acting when he lost weight for All Things Fall Apart , but he’s no Christian Bale. Best to have the music career as a back-up, eh?
The Rapper: Having found success as a recording artist (she’s sold 8 million records around the world), Eve stepped into acting with roles in Barbershop , xXx and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle .
Stick To The Day Job? Some of her movie choices have left a little to be desired, but Eve did the rock chick thing well in Whip It and put in a decent dramatic turn in The Woodsman . Shame everything else on her CV stinks...
The Rapper: “I gotta prove myself,” drawls Jamie Kennedy in Malibu’s Most Wanted before getting on stage and rapid-firing a rap that could put your eye out.
Stick To The Day Job? “I might be white, but my rhymes is tight.” Er, OK. Let’s just not, shall we?
The Rapper: Fitting that Clifford Smith should pinch his stage name from a film ( The Fearless Young Boxer ) considering his move into movies with How High , Garden State and The Wackness .
Stick To The Day Job? His name may suggest he’s a professional actor, but Method Man needs a bit more work in the acting department. Appearances on The Wire aside, he should stick to the rapping.
The Rapper: A British musician who hails from London’s Forest Gate, Plan B’s acted in hip-hop hit Adulthood and crime thriller Harry Brown .
Stick To The Day Job? Plan B’s directorial debut, Ill Manors , impressed. And he's a surprisingly decent actor. We wouldn’t mind seeing what else he’s got up his sleeve.
The Rapper: Also known as Andre Benjamin, 3000 has been a member of hip hop group OutKast since 1992. On the big screen, he’s appeared in Revolver , Be Cool and Four Brothers .
Stick To The Day Job? We’ve yet to see anything acting-wise from Benjamin that really blew our minds, so we’re happy to let him keep cranking out the hits with OutKast instead.
The Rapper: A Grammy award-winner who signed to Universal in 1999, Nelly appeared in 2001 film Snipes as rapper Prolifik and went on to star in 2005’s The Longest Yard .
Stick To The Day Job? Seems Nelly’s made up his mind for us – in 2008 he announced he wasn’t interested in pursuing an acting career in fear of taking “away from the culture of acting”.
Whatever that means.
The Actor: The Hollywood funnyman gets his rap on as Dr Evil in Austin Powers Meets Goldmember, as he tackles ‘Hard Knock Life’ with the help of Mini Me.
Stick To The Day Job? Not exactly the best rap performance we’ve ever heard, but it has comedy value. Dr Evil should release an album.
The Rapper: Also known as Dark Man X and Dog Man X (make up your mind, man), DMX has lent his gravely voice to Cradle 2 The Grave , Exit Wounds , Last Hour and Romeo Must Die .
Stick To The Day Job? DMX just about cuts it as an action sidekick, but that’s about it.
The Actor: Pint-sized actor Ryan Anderson has a rap-off with an older kid in Drillbit Taylor . That’s one to show the grandkids.
Stick To The Day Job? Though Anderson shows an admirable lack of self-consciousness, he’s no Bow Wow. Probably best to retire from rapping early and concentrate on the acting career.
Kid N Play
The Rappers: NYC hip hop duo Kid N Play made three albums together between 1986 and 1991 before going on to star together in four films – including House Party and House Party 2.
Stick To The Day Job? Though the duo haven’t acted together since, House Party was warmly received by critics, meaning their recent musical reunion could lead to a revival of their film careers…
The Rapper: Born Jayceon Terrell Taylor, The Game debuted with album The Documentary and went on to appear in films Waist Deep , Belly 2 and Street Kings .
Stick To The Day Job? He was passable as a baddie in Street Kings , but The Game generally fails to make much of an impression on-screen. Keep that mike handy, then.
The Rapper: Hailing from Queens, Fredro Starr gained notoriety as a member of Onyx, a hardcore hip hop group. He debuted in HBO drama Strapped and went on to appear in Save The Last Dance.
Stick To The Day Job? As the leader of a basketball team in Sunset Park , Starr showed he could handle the dramatic roles – something he did well on The Wire , too.
The Rapper: A member of the Wu-Tang Clan, RZA has become a constant fixture of Hollywood films, having appeared in Coffee And Cigarettes , Repo Men , Due Date and Funny People.
Stick To The Day Job? RZA impressed in Ghost Dog as a camouflage-wearing samurai, and his directorial debut, The Man With The Iron Fists , looks awesome.
The Rapper: Celebrated for his unique rapping technique, Busta starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Shaft , lent his voice to The Rugrats Movie and then, sadly, went on to Halloween: Resurrection.
Stick To The Day Job? That terrible eighth Halloween film lost Busta any and all credibility – the scene in which he fights Michael Myers with kung fu is permanently singed into our memories. Stick to the rapping, Rhymes…
Sister Act 2 kids
The Actors: Headed by Lauryn Hill, the school kids in Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit crack out a musical medley that involves singing and rapping in equal measure.
Stick To The Day Job? ‘Joyful Joyful’ has a certain pop appeal to it, though the rap segment is easily the worst. “Joyful, joyful, Lord I adore thee” just doesn’t sound the same when it’s being spat by a rapper…
The Rapper: Born Christopher Brian Bridges, Ludacris made his movie debut with 2 Fast 2 Furious (after a minor role in The Wash ), then went on to lend support in Crash , RockNRolla and Max Payne .
Stick To The Day Job? He impressed with a supporting role in Crash , meaning he has potential in acting, even though his movie choices need refining ( V alentine’s Day ? Really?).
The Actor: Howard slips on the cans and hovers in front of a mike to express himself – in the form of rap – in urban drama Hustle & Flow.
Stick To The Day Job? We wouldn’t want to lose Howard to rapping, but considering how well he does here, that’s a distinct possibility…
The Rapper: Named after a cotton swab (scary), Q-Tip is part of group A Tribe Called Quest.
He’s appeared on the big screen in the varied likes of Poetic Justic e , Disappearing Acts and Cadillac Records.
Stick To The Day Job? Spike Lee gave him a break with She Hate Me , a film that allowed Q-Tip to show what he can do with a decent film role.
The film itself was mauled, but Q-Tip’s more than decent in it.
The Rapper: Considered one of rap’s finest female artists, Rah Digga has just two movies on her CV – 2001 TV flick Carmen: A Hop Hopera , and horror remake Thir13en Ghosts.
Stick To The Day Job? There's no fear of that: Thir13en Ghosts is a laughable pile of dreck that seems to have stalled Rah Digga’s ascension to actress for over a decade…
Put it this way, don't expect to hear the words 'And the Oscar for Best Actress goes to... Rah Digga!' anytime soon.
The Rapper: Son to jazz musician Olu Dara, NAS made his acting debut in urban drama Belly , helmed by music video director Hype Williams.
Stick To The Day Job? Though the film’s plot is all over the place, NAS is surprisingly credible in Belly . It’s been a while since he acted, though, which means he’s probably sticking to the day job… And quite right too, he's an incredible artist.
The Rapper: A rapper and former fashion model, Tyrese has starred in all three Transformers films to date, as well as Four Brothers and, uh, Legion .
Stick To The Day Job? Tyrese is a support man through and through – he’s tough and likeable in Transformers , though when he’s given a lead role ( Waist Deep ), his inexperience shows.
Daryl 'Chill' Mitchell
The Rapper: Starting out as part of hip hop group Groove B. Chill in the ‘80s, Mitchell quickly went on to become an actor, appearing in Sgt Bilko , House Party and 10 Things I Hate About You.
Stick To The Day Job? Mitchell’s a gifted comedian, and even when his role is minimal (as with 10 Things ), he’s always able to bring the laughs. That’s particularly true of Galaxy Quest , in which he played former kid actor Tommy Webber.
LL Cool J
The Rapper: LL Cool J made a bid for movie stardom in the late ‘90s with horror hits Deep Blue Sea and Halloween H20 . He’s been less successful recently with flops Rollerball and Last Holiday .
Stick To The Day Job? LL Cool J’s a likeable chap, but he struggles to play anybody other than LL Cool J. Which is fine with us – we’d rather see him do that than rap.
The Rapper: Otherwise known as Clifford Joseph Harris Jr, T.I.’s film career took off with 2006’s ATL , in which he turned heads with an affecting turn as a young man about to finish high school.
Stick To The Day Job? Depends if he’s behind bars or not – the rapper-turned-actor has been in jail twice. If he manages to get on the straight and narrow, he’s a talent worth watching.
The Actor: We caught Gina Rodriguez rapping in new film Filly Brown at Sundance this year, and were mighty impressed with her skills behind the mike. Apparently she got the gig on the back on an impromptu rap.
Stick To The Day Job? Definitely not. Though Rodriguez is a talented actress, she’s also got a great tone as a rapper. Night shifts, then?
The Rapper: Now one of the most recognisable names in hip hop, Snoop Dogg's debut album went four times platinum in 1994. His best movie role to date was in Starsky & Hutch , where he showed he’s up for a giggle as an extravagant pimp.
Stick To The Day Job? Though Dogg is on fine form in Starsky & Hutch , he’ll have to shake up the pimp routine if he wants to stay in the industry.
The Rapper: Born and raised in Chicago, Common turned himself into something of an action star with movie roles in Smokin’ Aces , Wanted , American Gangster and Terminator Salvation.
Stick To The Day Job? This guy has charisma to spare, and a voice like warm treacle (check out his narration on Bouncing Cats ). Give him another acting gig, pronto.
The Actor: Senator Jay Bullington Bulworth (Warren Beatty) shakes politics up by smoking marijuana, hitting night clubs and, yes, rapping in lovable comedy Bulworth .
Stick To The Day Job? Beatty handles the beat surprisingly well, though Aaron Sorkin’s words probably had something to do with it.
The Rapper: Formerly known as Lil Bow Wow, the Columbus native’s all grown up now. After film debut Like Mike , he went on to appear in Roll Bounce and The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Stick To The Day Job? Bow Wow is surprisingly warm and likeable in Roll Bounce , a ‘70s disco coming-of-ager that’s formulaic but fun. And, let's face it, anything's better than his music.
The Rapper: Grammy-nominated ‘Killer Cam’ udpated his status from 'rapper' to 'rapper-turned-actor' in 2002 with Paper Soldier and Paid In Full , but hasn’t acted since 2006’s Killa Season.
Stick To The Day Job? Cam’ron holds his own in Paid In Full , showing promise as an actor. Shame he’s not done much since.
The Rapper: Early roles in New Jack City and Surviving The Game established Ice-T as somebody to watch, but duff film choices like Sonic Impact meant he soon lost some of that edge.
Stick To The Day Job? His day job now consists of working on TV series Law & Order: SVU . We know this guy can do more – he just needs to find the right role.
The Actor: Only The Muppets could get away with something like this – Chris Cooper rapping ‘Let’s Talk About Me’. “I make the baker make my bread out of dough…” Genius.
Stick To The Day Job? Though the song’s funny in context, we doubt anybody’s chasing Cooper for a record deal just yet…
The Rapper: Formerly a beat boxer in hip-hop group Ladies Fresh, Queen Latifah made us all sit up with a sensitive turn in The Bone Collector before showing off those pipes in Chicago and Hairspray .
Stick To The Day Job? Well, she’s won two SAG awards, a Golden Globe, plus nominations at the Emmys and the Oscars… We’d say she’s safe.
The Actor: Go-to voice guy Robin Williams drops a blink-miss rap as Mrs Doubtfire when, on a business meeting, he inadvertently introduces his boss to the “hip old granny”.
Stick To The Day Job? “Yo, yo, I make a mean cup of cocoa,” Williams raps. If it wasn’t for the drag, we’d be embarrassed, but this is fun embodied.
The Rapper: A one-time Fresh Prince, Will Smith became one of Hollywood’s leading action men in the ‘90s after buffing up for the likes of Independence Day and Men In Black.
Stick To The Day Job? He’s all but retired from the rap thing, though with films like Men In Black 3 failing to wow, we wonder if a return to his roots is what Big Willie needs…
The Rapper: Sure, he’s slightly nasal in 16 Blocks , but Mos Def proved he has acting chops in Be Kind Rewind and The Italian Job.
Stick To The Day Job? He hasn’t released an album since 2009, so acting pretty much is his day job now. Which is fine with us.
The Rapper: Aka Marshall Mathers, aka Slim Shady, Eminem has only one serious movie acting credit to his name, but when it’s 8 Mile , you cut him some slack.
Stick To The Day Job? The premise for 8 Mile sounded indulgent at best, but it turned out to be an involving film that showed what Mathers was capable of as an actor. We’d like to see more acting and less yelling from this guy.
Ellen Albertini Dow
The Actor: Sister Act 2 actress Ellen Albertini Dow (who turns 100 next year) crops up in The Wedding Singer to give us a little rap. It doesn’t last very long, but it’s a thing of pure beauty.
Stick To The Day Job? If Dow’s shown us anything over the years, it’s that she can do anything. Frankly, we’d like to see her do more rapping.
The Rapper: Tragically shot to death in 1996, Tupac Shakur remains one of the top-selling artists of the past 20 years, having shifted 75m records as of 2010. He also ventured into film and TV with appearances in Poetic Justice and A Different World.
Stick To The Day Job? It was Juice that really showed what Tupac had to offer, the rapper bringing edge and charisma to his first lead role in a film about four youths living in Harlem.
The Rapper: Though he started out as shirt-phobic rapper Marky Mark, Mark Wahlberg has transformed into one of the best actors working today – with Ted he proved he can do comedy, while The Departed showed off his mean side.
Stick To The Day Job? No way. Thank God this guy gave up rapping – Hollywood needs him.
The Rapper: Twenty years after he started taking on acting roles, LA rapper Ice Cube is still going strong with the likes of 21 Jump Street and Rampart .
Stick To The Day Job? Cube successfully held his own against George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in Three Kings , and impressed in Friday .
He's currently on production duties on Straight Outta Compton, a big screen biopic of his old rap troupe NWA, which is a nice full circle in our book.