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Rapstress-Turnt-Actress: 9 Amazing Female Rappers to Watch on Screen

Many male rappers have made the transition to the big screen, the most laudable being the powerful Will Smith. But more female hip-hop stars are looking to break into the movie business, seeking to express sides of themselves that are deeper than their music personas. These nine rapstresses represent the best of women and hip-hop who also have the biggest chance of making it in feature films. Why let the boys – like Common, T.I. and more – have all the fun? We need to see more from these raptresses-turnt-actresses in the coming years.

The Trendsetter: Nicki Minaj

When Nicki Manaj attended the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, she let it be known that acting will be the next stage in her successful career. She told the press from the red carpet, "That's what I want to do with my life, I want to retire as an actress. I love acting, I studied acting," revealing quite a big surprise. Minaj named Hollywood veterans Will Smith and director Tim Burton as two she’d love to work with, but Nicki is no movie rookie. The omnipresent rapstress has already made her feature debut in the gritty independent release, “Stuck on Broke” (2010). Nicki Minaj will certainly bring her penchant for the dramatic to future roles as she parlays her popularity even further.

The Transformer: Lil Kim

If Nicki Minaj plans to get into acting, it should come as no surprise that her arch enemy, Lil Kim plans to do the same. She announced in late 2010, "Over the next few years, I see myself venturing more into acting. I love the idea of being able to morph into different characters and showing different sides of me." A common pitfall of being such a colorful character in rap, Lil Kim has already made several appearances in movies as herself, including hits such as “Zoolander” (2001) and “You Got Served” (2004). But 2008, she got to express herself in a creative role in the comic book film spoof “Superhero Movie.” Could more serious roles be in the future for her? Maybe she and Nicki will go head to head again, rekindling their ever-entertaining beef.


The Drama Queen: Foxy Brown

Foxy Brown’s life reads like street lit legend. As a female rapper who came up under two incredible mentors, Jay-Z and Nas, Brown’s then life spiraled into a series of nail-biting misadventures that kept the public guessing. From facing multiple encounters with the law, to suffering from hysterical hearing loss, Foxy’s story has primed her for serving drama. It’s too bad that the only movie role she has had to date was in the 1998 Jada Pinkett-Smith vehicle “Woo,” in which she played the blandly titled “Fiancée.” An appearance as herself in the Jay-Z documentary “Fade to Black” (2004) rounds out her filmic career. But now that Foxy Brown has repented for her past sins, she is primed to take on bigger challenges. By overcoming demons in her own life, she epitomized the qualities of the female protagonist.


The Grande Dame: Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah could write a book on how to parlay hip-hop stardom into Hollywood fame. She took her tiny role as a waitress in 1991’s “Jungle Fever” and ran with it, putting in the work over the years until it paid off in an Academy Award nomination for playing Matron "Mama" Morton in “Chicago” (2002). But the rapping queen of the big screen did not stop there. She went on produce and/or star in over a dozen films since then, including perennial favorites like “Ice Age” (2006) and “Beauty Shop” (2005). Queen Latifah’s list of prestigious acting awards include statues awarded by the Golden Globes and the NAACP. For all the other rapstresses making the transition to acting, the Queen leads by example.


The Mystic: Missy Elliot

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot’s music videos are cinematic feats full of psychedelic  eye candy. She has translated the trippy power of her image to the movie arena in small roles, such as playing Diva in 2001’s “Pootie Tang,” and her own fabulous self in the films “Honey” (2003) and “Just for Kicks” (2005). But will Missy make moves into richer forms of celluloid expression?  As a highly unique rapstress with a positive message – and the power to communicate visually -- she would make a great movie star. We hope she gets into the mix.


The Glamazon: Eve

Eve has an impressive career as a thespian, ranging from starring in her own television show to acting in many black-themed films. A veteran of the “Barbershop” franchise, she also starred in the 2004 comedy “The Cookout,” which was co-written by fellow rapstress Queen Latifah. The year 2010 saw the sexy Scorpio break out in new directions in the British thriller “4.3.2.1.,” playing the dynamic Latisha. Hopefully, Eve will enjoy similar acting opportunities on this side of the Atlantic.


The Comeback Kid: Lauryn Hill

After roles in “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” (1993) and  “Hav Plenty” (1997), Lauryn Hill seems to have abandoned acting to focus on music. Everyone is wondering when she will make her big music comeback, but people should also consider when she will return to the movies. With a presence much like Angela Bassett, but with more sassy style, there is plenty of room in the pantheon of black actresses for her brand. Maybe this rap goddess’ comeback will have that one-two punch, on both the acting and rapping fronts.


The Matron: MC Lyte

Few people know that MC Lyte has acted both on the stage and the screen, giving her a well-rounded foundation for pursuing a larger career. Her movie roles include little-known titles such as “Fly by Night”(1993), “A Luv Tale” (1999), and “Civil Brand” (2002) – but she deserves better. Even though MC Lyte has not had an album out for a while, her name recognition is strong and she still looks as good as she did during her heyday. Lyte would make a great supporting actress in today’s black movie world, competing with the likes of Regina King, with more edge. Let’s hope she gets a break and capitalizes on her previous work.


The Pop Princess: Pepa

Pepa is a much-loved rapstress. Having entered our hearts as half of the dynamic duo Salt-n-Pepa, this star has been shining independently for a number of years. Her recurring role on TV’s “Oz” as Officer Andrea Phelan has primed her for even bigger things. After small roles in the films “The Perfect Holiday” (2007) and “Love and a Bullet” (2002), Pepa could use a stand-out part that showcases her spunk. With more African-American superstars like Will Smith and Tyler Perry producing films, roles like this could soon be on the horizon for her.

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CupcakKe Reveals Abusive Boyfriend Led Her To Contemplate Suicide

Months of abuse led to the suicidal tweet posted by Chicago native CupcakKe, earlier this month. In a lengthy message posted to her Twitter account over the weekend, the 21-year-old rapper admitted that she’s been battling depression, brought on by an abusive ex-boyfriend.

In the post titled “my disturbing read,” CupcakKe accuses a man named, Christopher Terrell, of stealing her credit cards and terrorizing her throughout their relationship.

“This is someone I’ve been dating for the past [five] months,” she wrote in the now deleted post. “Out of the kindness of my heart I gave this man over [$30,000] during this period [of] time because I understand how it feels to be without (especially after me being homeless). He also has threatened to shoot my mom in the face [and] has threatened me on multiple occasions [and] said he can do it because he will get away with it!!!! I have screenshots, recorded calls, bank statements and all types of proof.

“Me being stupid in love I have [taken] this man back multiple times but every time I take him back the abuse gets [worse],” she added.

Further in the post, CupcakKe explains that her depression from feeling trapped in the relationship resulted in her contemplating suicide. “He [has] snatched off my wig in public, broke phones [and] continues to traumatize me every step of the way! This is what [led] to my ‘I’m committing suicide’ tweet…I have called the cops multiple times and they have yet to do anything about it,” she wrote, adding that Terrell is threatening her with revenge porn. She also admitted to posting his number on social media, and the numbers of women that he “plotted” with  to steal her money.

“Yes I am wrong for that,” she said. “But by me sending this message out it is not for harm to be sent his way, it’s for the police to make things way more serious!!!! Also this message is for every young girl or anyone in general that is struggling with abuse right now. I get u (once you see the first sign) leave!!!”

Read the full post below.

@Chicago_Police y’all really need to do something about @CupcakKe_rapper and her situation, she’s mentioned reaching out to y’all multiple times about this and nothings happened! Please do something before it’s too late... pic.twitter.com/ZczGq1jmcK

— moonlight_baes (@m00nlight__baes) January 20, 2019

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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