By Lauren Kearney
In the past, many rappers have taken a hiatus from their music careers and thought the next obvious step would be to conquer television. Whether it was finding love on a reality show, kicking ass and fighting bad guys in a crime drama or moving in with their auntie and uncle in Bel Air, this transition either went really well, really badly or so terribly it was hilariously good.
In light of Tyler the Creator’s just-announced new show “Loiter Talk,” which is coming to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim in 2012, we have decided to take a look back at some of the rappers-turned-TV stars that have graced our television screens.
1. Will Smith in the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” – The Fresh Prince went from rapping about how parents just don’t understand and his love of summertime, to escaping the streets of West Philadelphia and moving in with his wealthy aunt and uncle in Bel Air. And it was hilarious.
2. Flavor Flav in “Flavor of Love” – Don’t even try to act like you didn’t love this show. From the first season to the third, Flavor Flav of the rap group Public Enemy was just looking for love in all the craziest places. From the grammatically incorrect nicknames to the epic catfights, how could you not love to watch the hot mess commence right in front of you? Who could ever forget New York and Peaches, Hoopz and Deelishis? So wish there was a fourth season.
3. Ice T in “Law & Order: SVU” – Winning the most ironic transition has to be Ice-T, who went from rapping about killing cops in “Cop Killer” to becoming one in “Law &Order: SVU.” And man, he pulls it off.
4. T.I. in “Road to Redemption” – This show documented T.I. during his last days before going to prison. He spoke to schools and community groups about how to avoid the trouble he had gotten himself into. T.I. sought “redemption” for his mistakes by teaching others how to not make the same decisions he did. A more serious note on our list, but definitely worth mentioning. Props to you, T.I.
5. Drake in “Degrassi” – Okay, I know I’m breaking the rules here, but I just couldn’t help it. And I guess since Drake, who played Jimmy Brooks, showed off his rapping skills on the show it kind of counts, right? And this was definitely the most drastic change on the list. From “Degrassi” to platinum rapper? Come on now.
While some of these guys’ transition was more successful than others, it’s safe to say there will be more to come in the future. And I am so ready for what’s next. We wish Tyler the Creator and Co. luck with “Loiter Talk.” And even if it doesn’t turn out great, we’re in for at least a few episodes.