Scott Towler has returned from licking his wounds over ABC’s refusal to grant him an interview regarding their “Go Green” campaign. He is now reasonably convinced that licking one’s own wounds is rather pointless and slightly weird.

America loves rappers turned actors. It makes sense in theory. Good rappers are usually born performers and by nature exude a confidence and swagger that would translate well to the screen. Besides, most rappers are liars anyhow (or did you think that every one really has a crime record longer than Manute Bol?), so one would think acting shouldn’t be a stretch. Or maybe they just walked into their agent’s office one day, pointed a gun at him or he and said: “Give me a movie or I’ll motherfucking kill you.” It worked for Suge Knight.

Sadly, the rise of the rapper/actor/model (and not the other way around), has not made for great cinema. See these five examples.

DMX is not an actor. Fine, technically he is. He did Belly and that was cool. But a fucking Seagal movie? That’s like a legit actor taking a role on a soap opera and playing the “hunky doctor from out of town” (to quote Soap Opera Digest) The only reason I watch this thing was to see just how fast DMX could load a gun on screen. The answer: swiftly, with a touch of thug. What more can you ask for?

Though Ice Cube still continues to believe he is a thug icon, he’s about as tame as a Bengal Tiger in Las Vegas: you know the thug is still there, but has long left the wild (see Siegfried). Though I gotta give Cube some credit. Out of all the actor/rappers out there, he’s the most legit. Between Are We There Yet, Are We Done Yet, and Friday, he has tremendous commercial appeal. The only problem came early on in his acting career when he finished out the tail end of his contractual obligation making Next Friday and then Friday After Next…Friday (the first one, not next Friday, homes) or whatever that abortion of a movie was called.

I’ll confess, I paid to see Next Friday in theaters. And it wasn’t half bad. It wasn’t half good either. So to take a concept (the first movie), make that concept worse (the second movie), and then go and make that concept even worse (see above movie poster)…well…I’m baffled. The only saving grace is that Cube has enough staying power to not let that kill his career. After all, Cube ain’t a killer, he’s a lover. Or did you not hear “Today was a Good Day?”

It’s not just male raptors that make this mistake (ooh, there’s the word! raptor!) Anyway, just like the male raptors that have made movies, the female dilophosaurs are just as guilty. Exhibit A: Queen “UNITY” and the abomination that was Taxi. Call me crazy, but I think Jill Scott could’ve played this role better, plus I would have enjoyed her voice more. Instead, Jill Scott keeps making fantastic R&B records, and Queen Latifah has all but given up on music. I think her last venture was a lounge CD. And not even the good kind of lounge (think Guidance Records in Chicago or OM in San Fran), but the cheesy Benny Goodman “In the Mood” lounge of the 30s and 40s. Good for you lady! You managed to make yourself even less appealing! Yippee! Maybe next you can paint a face on your stomach and wear one of those hats that goes down to your boobs. I’ll sign you up for a Shriner parade, and we’ll pay you in circus peanuts.

The studio exec that made this probably believes that blaxsploitation probably died with I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. Truth be told, blaxsploitation is still alive and kicking today. It’s most recent incarnation, Mo’nique’s Phat Girlz, is a film about a hunky man falling for Mo’Nique’s hideous self. Then, at the end of the movie, he tells her that the real beauty is in a big woman. Yeah fucking right. Hey Mo Mo- wake up. You suck, you’re not funny, and please stop making me switch to letter box just so I can fit the other actor in the scene.

A more classic look at blaxsploitation comes from Soul Plane, a movie in which nothing happens but the obvious. It’s like it was written by K-fed and Jamie Kennedy collaborating around the theme that if they can put hydraulics on the plane, people will think it was both “dope” and “ill” and maybe even Snoop could come in and say ‘fizzle’ for the white people to luagh. Soul Plane was just a string of tired stereotypes trying to re-make Barber Shop, ran out of locations, and put it on a plane. Newsflash crackers: there are no purple airplanes. And the day that ‘the world’s most ghetto airline’ has a hub in LA (aside from United Airlines) let me know. I’ll sip on sizzurp and get blunted at 30,000 feet.

Idlewild actually had good intentions: setting the modern movie-musical and setting it in a different place and time than anyone had seen done before. Except Idlewild felt like a string of music videos pieced together to make a mediocre movie. Even if they were made the music first and wrote the script around it, theme albums are just hard to do. They knew this much-delayed movie was gonna’ be a failure welll before it was released. Not to mention the film premiered around the same time as ATL and Get Rich or Die Trying. Poor timing, poor script, and shitty acting don’t make a movie. Unless we’re talking Teen Wolf.

MP3: Outkast-“Hollywood Divorce”

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