Only a decade ago everyone was complaining about how the rappers were taking all of the acting roles in Hollywood. But nowadays the pendulum has swung in the other direction, typified by one of the biggest rappers on the planet being a former Canadian teen star. With Los Angeles being synonymous with both Tinsel Town and West coast hip-hop, there's a particular confluence of actors-turned-rappers here. Here are the five best, starting, of course, with Warren Beatty.
5) Warren Beatty
While Joaquin Phoenix's bizarre faux-hip-hop prank a few years back was weird, the rapping in I'm Still Here couldn't compare to Warren Beatty's blistering skills on display in Bulworth. While his lyrics of fury sadly didn't make the film's soundtrack, his cameo in the “Ghetto Superstar” video is the leading evidence in the “Warren Beatty is actually Pras” conspiracy theory.
4) Brian Green
Best known as David Silver on Beverly Hills 90210, Brian (Austin) Green took a shot at hip-hop with his 1996 album One Stop Carnival. Boasting production from The Pharcyde's Slim Kid3 and L.A. Jay, it's telling how many YouTube commenters are flat-out shocked at how “not horrible” it is.
3) David Faustino
TV's Bud Bundy got automatic street cred for having a Nas Illmatic poster in his room. Factoring in his involvement in bringing countless hip-hop shows to the Sunset Strip, why not let him have his own single?
Violently aggressive XXL Freshman Hopsin first entered the youth's conscience through his minor role on Disney's That's So Raven. Today, he's recording syllable-slaughtering horrorcore alongside the Insane Clown Posse, Tech N9ne and RA the Rugged Man.
1) Childish Gambino
While his “Community” co-star Chevy Chase beat him to releasing a rap single by almost 30 years, Glover's made quite the impact in hip-hop. Currently touring with Danny Brown, Glover is rumored to be releasing his new mixtape, featuring appearances from Wu-Tang Clan's Rza, Beck and more, on July 4th.