In 2023 it is commonplace to see hip hop artists in movies portraying a variety of characters, but in 1992 it was rare when Tupac Shakur debuted as Roland Bishop Juice.
Vote for your favorite hip hop artist to portray a villain by clicking image above.
Will Smith had just started on Fresh Prince Of Bel Air as an actor breaking through from the world of rap. Fans took his raw performances for what it was on the sitcom. but he would eventually become a top earning serious actor that would win an Oscar.
TUPAC SHAKUR IN JUICE
It was on this day (January 17th) in 1992 that Tupac Shakur would have a career defining role with the character of Bishop. Til this day, many people believe Tupac wasn’t able to shake off the character from his other roles in movies and as a hip hop artist. Jermaine Hopkins who portrayed Steel in the film, believes that theory to be bogus as stated in the interview below with Art Of Dialogue.
Bishop is part of a small crew with Raheem, Q, and Steel who are all teenagers trying to live life in the early 1990s. Another classic film where a hip hop artist portrayed a villain was Tupac’s Death Row fellow artist, Snoop Dogg, in Baby Boy. The film was originally made for Tupac to play the character of Jody according to John Singleton.
SNOOP DOGG AS RODNEY IN BABY BOY
Singleton did an interview with the Television Academy Foundation and spoke about Baby Boy and Tupac.
He said they talked at the Crenshaw Mall and he told the late rapper, “I’ve got the movie that’s gonna get you an Oscar nomination. And we were supposed to have a meeting and lunch, and within a week he was gone.”
Playing the ex-boyfriend from hell Rodney, Snoop Dogg showed his cold-blooded sided in the John Singleton film Baby Boy. The 2001 flick cast Snoop alongside Tyrese (Jody) and Taraji P. Henson (Yvette).
CAM’RON AS RICO IN PAID IN FULL
Cam’ron played the flashy, hot-headed, fast-life-living turncoat Rico as if he was the real dude himself. The 2002 film was loosely based on the lives of Azie “AZ” Faison, Rich Porter, and Alpo Martinez. Taking place in Harlem at the early onset of the 1980s crack epidemic, we see a classic performance from the Dipset leader. Rico ends up a huge villain who turns on them.
QUEEN LATIFAH AS CLEO IN SET IT OFF
Cleo was going to get rich or die trying. In the film “Set It Off,” Queen Latifah’s character, Cleo, was a bank-robbing lesbian who chose to die in a blaze of gun fire rather than give herself up to the police. The cast, which includes Jada Pinkett (before Smith), Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise in her first role, is uniformly excellent, building a dynamic that believably has lasted decades.