People love rappers! And people love movies! But like bubblegum and any company that yearns to release a “bubblegum-flavored” product, sometimes two things simply refuse to go together properly. The allure of achieving fame across multiple mediums is a powerful one, but it’s also very risky. As talented as someone is at rhyming about how much they get laid in their cars (Are rappers sixteen-year-old suburban white dudes in disguise?), it doesn’t mean that they can be equally good at maintaining screen presence or even saying parts of a sentence that don’t include couplets about getting laid in their cars.
This compilation will show you that many people should’ve followed Trick Daddy’s example when he, in “Let’s Go,” yelled “And I aint that actor type, alright!”
- Eminem, in 50 Cent: Bulletproof
50 Cent’s ode to 50 Cent is a video game that sort of works. It can be put into a console and you can play it, like most video games, but barely any part of playing it is enjoyable. There is no wish fulfillment achieved in stepping into the shoes of 50 Cent, much less a 50 Cent who is constantly harassed by gangs, and Bulletproof might take on a “so bad, it’s good” status if the voice acting was enthusiastic. But if you wanted enthusiastic acting, you shouldn’t have gone with Eminem, who could not be less excited to be lending his voice to corrupt cop “Detective McVicar.”
The voice acting in Bulletproof would require a lot of inflection and magic to make up for the PlayStation 2 graphics that they were emanating from. Just look at the editing in this cut scene. How do you mess up “50 Cent has a threesome that’s interrupted by Eminem”? That’s was 50 Cent’s actual life for about half of a decade, and it’s cut together in a way that leaves the viewer confused as to where anyone in the room is, or what they’re doing the whole time. It’s an experimental film, disguised as a 50 Cent adventure, disguised as an experimental film directed by 50 Cent in the middle of another 50 Cent adventure.
Every character model in Bulletproof looks like it was taken from that rapper’s potential WWE action figure, and Eminem doesn’t help matters by using “All of this will be cut from the game before its release” as his motivation. You’d think that Eminem would provide the same kind of desperate energy that he gave to all of the lyrics he wrote after 2001, but Eminem says dialogue like a guy trying to leave a party, but is being stopped by too many people who want hugs.
- Lil Wayne, in Baller Blockin’
I’ve done the necessary time-travelling and I’ve asked my middle school self to list the top ten ways to title a movie featuring rappers. After much sweating from Young Daniel, I added entries two through six together, and came up with, unsurprisingly, Baller Blockin’.
Lil Wayne went from being the go-to party rapper, to a man obsessed with having his face embedded in lady ass, and wanting the earth to know about it in excruciating detail through the soothing power of music. The Lil Wayne you see in Baller Blockin’ is not so confident in his abilities. He is the high school football player forced to take a theatre class and standing uncomfortably to the side of an improv scene. Lil Wayne seemingly does a lot of waiting for the easiest point to jump in the conversation in Baller Blockin’, which would be fine if the movie had little dialogue. But as I mentioned, Baller Blockin’ is a lot like improv: half of the dialogue in it either lasts forever, or is totally irrelevant. So you wind up waiting for Lil Wayne to do anything of consequence at all but watch the other guys go on and on about nothing in particular, with only the mirage of a goal in mind.
Lil Wayne, who once spoke of seducing a female cop by doing nothing but being himself, is at his most sheepish in Baller Blockin’. His character is named “Iceberg Shorty” (In the distance, Quentin Tarantino scribbles notes furiously) and I’d feel almost like I was lying if I didn’t mention the few scenes where Lil Wayne gets to perform some stilted dialogue that don’t add to the plot whatsoever. The most prominent of these occurs early in the film, where Wayne is collecting money from a drug deal, realizes that the customer is short on cash, and then nothing happens. Lil Wayne, who you’d expect to explode into a verse about lollipops (dongs) or firemen (also dongs), lets the guy go on with his day and then seems to look for the camera afterward. It’s the only performance in this whole article that I have genuine pity for.