Written By Jay Billion
Next week Diddy will be James Lipton’s guest on Inside the Actors Studio. Yeah you heard me right. I can see your blank expression and blinking from here (lol). Diddy is one of many Raptors. When I say Raptor I am not talking about a Dinosaur or a Basketball player. A Raptor is the new term referring to rappers who turned into actors (i.e. Ice Cube, Ludacris, Mos Def, Eve etc.). We also have the opposite occurring with actors like Drake who is now a premiere rapper, and Idris Elba who has just released a song with 9th Wonder (which isn’t bad actually). Should it matter how they got their start or are they taking jobs away from the bona fide actors?
Music and acting have gone hand and hand long before the days of Rap. Actors and actresses like Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dorothy Dandridge and others began their careers mastering both fields to expand their opportunities and their fan bases. Overall they were able to play both sides of the field without either side losing ground. Today though, rappers seem to lose focus in this A.D.D. generation we live in. As soon as they sign their first deal, they are putting out a clothing line, cologne, movies, record labels, headphones, and a plethora of other business ventures. Not to say that there is anything wrong with being ambitious, but first master your craft so that you will be able to maintain longevity in entertainment.
Will Smith, Queen Latifah, and Ice-T have proven to be more successful in the acting business than in the music game. So you may ask, what could be the problem then? Two things come to mind. One issue is that many artists like 50 Cent have come in the game with a strong rap career, and began spreading themselves too thin over several jobs. There is his position as CEO of G-Unit records, G-Unit clothing, directing, acting, and producing films. Can anyone argue that ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was his most successful and best effort in rap? From there he began to over saturate the industry. When his focus was solely music, he made a classic CD which sold 8 million copies in the US alone. Since then 50 has dropped three more CD’s that have not had come anywhere near that kind of success.