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Silver Screen Approved: Top 5 Hip-Hop Actors | Black Writers Week

She embarked on a highly successful career as an actress and producer of film and television, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for “Chicago” (2002) and winning a Primetime Emmy for producing the HBO telefilm “Bessie” ( 2015), in which he also starred. her as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith.

However, her stunning performance on the big screen can be found in director F. Gary Gray’s “Set It Off” (1996), a groundbreaking drama that starred her as one of four working-class black women in downtown Los Angeles. who decide to start robbing banks in a reckless attempt to improve their lot in life. She leaves with the film, delivering a performance that has achieved iconic status in the following years. She was, quite simply, the soul of that film.

Currently, she is the star and executive producer of the hit CBS action series “The Equalizer” and has several upcoming films.

NATURI NAUGHTON

In “Juicy”, the 1994 rap anthem coined by some hip-hop fans as the greatest rap song of all time, the Notorious BIG aka Biggie Smalls famously rapped: “You never thought hip -hop would have gotten this far / Now I’m in the spotlight because I rhyme tight “.

Naturi Naughton first entered the scene as part of the all-girl group 3LW. Once she and the group broke ties, she eventually embarked on an acting career that led her to play female real-life MC Lil ‘Kim in “Notorious” (2009), a biopic about the great. screen on the short-lived rap phenomenon Christopher Wallace, the aforementioned Notorious BIG. Her evocative performance received solid notices despite Lil ‘Kim’s objections to her as she was portrayed in the film. But from a performance standpoint, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Lil ‘Kim convincingly. That was the part of her, and she made the best of it.

To date, Naughton has gotten her best notices for her television work, most notably as mafia wife Tasha St. Patrick on the Starz drama series “Power” and her spinoff “Power Book II: Ghost”. Tasha’s evolution over the course of the flagship show’s six seasons was a big part of why it became a TV fixture. Tasha was a lot of things, but a shrinking violet wasn’t one of them. And Naughton’s work was revealing and nuanced.

TUPAC SHAKUR

It’s sad to think of all the potential greatness we’ll never see (or hear, for that matter) from the late Tupac Shakur. He was really just starting when he was shot multiple times in September 1996 and later died from his injuries. He was 25 years old. But what a promising acting career he managed to carve out before his untimely death, having just shot a total of six films as an actor, starting with celebrated cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, his directorial and screenwriting debut, “Juice” (1992 ), about a quartet of young black teens in Harlem trying to come of age in increasingly difficult and potentially dangerous circumstances. Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers has rightly described Shakur as “the most magnetic figure in the film”.

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