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Silver Screen Approved: The 5 Best Actors in Hip-Hop | black writers week

She went on to a hugely successful career as a film and television actress and producer, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for ‘Chicago’ (2002) and winning a Primetime Emmy for the production. from the HBO TV movie “Bessie” (2015), which she also played. as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith.

However, her big-screen performance can be found in director F. Gary Gray’s “Set It Off” (1996), a groundbreaking drama that cast her as one of four inner-city working-class black women. from Los Angeles who decide to start flying. banks in a misguided attempt to improve their lot in life. She walks away with the film, delivering a performance that has achieved iconic status in the years since. She was, quite simply, the soul of this film.

Currently, she is the star and executive producer of the hit CBS action series “The Equalizer,” and has several movies slated for release.

NATURI NAUGHTON

In “Juicy,” the 1994 rap anthem, coined by some hip-hop fans as the greatest rap song of all time, the Notorious BIG, aka Biggie Smalls, rapped, “You would never have thought hip-hop would go this far/Now I’m in the limelight ’cause I rhyme loudly.”

Naturi Naughton burst onto the scene as part of the all-female group 3LW. Once she and the group severed ties, she eventually pursued an acting career which led her to play real life female MC Lil’ Kim in “Notorious” (2009), a big screen biopic on the short life of rap sensation Christopher Wallace, the aforementioned Notorious BIG. Her evocative performance received strong reviews despite Lil’ Kim’s objections to how she was portrayed in the film. But performance-wise, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Lil’ Kim so convincingly. It was her part, and she made the most of it.

To date, Naughton has earned her highest marks for her television work, particularly as mob wife Tasha St. Patrick in the Starz drama series “Power” and its spin-off “Power Book II: Ghost.” “. Tasha’s evolution over the seminal series’ six seasons was a big part of why she became date TV. Tasha was many things, but a shrinking violet was not one of them. And Naughton’s work was revealing and nuanced.

TUPAC SHAKUR

It’s sad to think of all the potential greatness we’ll never get to see (or hear, for that matter) from the late Tupac Shakur. He was just getting started when he was shot several times in September 1996 and later died from his injuries. He was 25 years old. But what a promising acting career he managed to carve out before his untimely death after making a total of six films as an actor, starting with the writing and directing debut film of famed cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, “Juice” (1992), about a quartet of young black Harlem teenagers trying to come of age under increasingly difficult and potentially dangerous circumstances. rolling stone Critic Peter Travers rightly described Shakur as “the film’s most magnetic figure”.

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