This Friday, we will be first in line at the theater to see The Man with the Iron Fists, the new movie written and directed by The RZA. In the film, RZA portrays “The Blacksmith,” who channels an ancient energy to turn himself into a living weapon.
There has been, of late, a lack of strong, heroic characters portrayed by multi-talented artists, but we hope The Man with the Iron Fists, is the beginning of the return of great starring rappers who are also great actors on the silver screen.
But while we wait, here’s our list of "Five Brilliant Movie Heroes Played by Rappers":
Ice Cube as "Darius Stone" - xXx: State of the Union
In the 2005 follow-up to the successful xXx which starred Vin Diesel, Ice Cube kicked major butt as the new XXX agent fighting NSA traitors and restoring his own reputation. However, xXx: State of the Union performed so poorly, that it is said to have been the death of the franchise.
Common as "Barnes" - Terminator Salvation
In the $200 million, 2009 summer blockbuster, Common portrayed "Barnes", a lieutenant in John Connor’s resistance army. While not in a whole lot of scenes, and sometimes appearing stiff and dry, appearing in this edition of the Terminator franchise was a big look for Com Sense…and he got to carry big, futuristic guns.
Andre 3000 as "Jeremiah Mercer" - Four Brothers
Not a conventional action hero, 3 Stacks still shined in this 2005 John Singleton vehicle that featured two other “rappers,” Mark Wahlberg and Tyrese Gibson. As Jeremiah Mercer, 3000 was one of the more sensitive characters in the gritty street drama, but he turned out to be a hero in the end.
DMX as "King David" - Never Die Alone
The dog had a pretty good run as an actor starting with 1998’s Belly. X went on to star in numerous films, including Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Romeo Must Die. One of his lesser grossing films was Never Die Alone, and while it didn’t do well at the box office, it is widely-considered a cult classic and one of X’s best performances.
Queen Latifah as "Cleo" - Set It Off
An ambitious role for Latifah, her portrayal of Cleo in the 1996 F. Gary Gray classic cemented her status as a movie star. The Queen stole every scene she was in, and dies what could only be described as a true gangsta’s death, gunned down in a hail of bullets by police. Set It Off remains one of Hip-Hop’s most endearing movies.
RZA's The Man with the Iron Fists opens in theaters around the country this Friday. The soundtrack is in stores now. Check out the trailer below: