Music’s biggest names have always found their way to the box office, whether it be Michael Jackson in 1978’s The Wiz, Jennifer Lopez in the biopic Selena or Eminem in 8-Mile.
What makes Emcees and crooners an attractive target for the big screen? According to Wu-Tang veteran and Power Book II: Ghost actor Method Man, “rappers are great liars.”
Whether that statement is entirely true or not, there are many films releasing in 2023 starring rappers and R&B stars that are sure to have viewers on the edge of their seats. From T.I. taking on the role of a man trying to escape a weekend from hell, to Snoop playing a former NFL star that now coaches the youth — this year is sure to be action-packed with music-studded movies that will either validate or counter Meth’s claims.
Here are 20 rappers and R&B stars set to hit the big screen in 2023.
R&B singer and actor Jacob Latimore (The Chi, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) is set to star in the remake of the 1990 classic House Party.
This time around the 26-year-old plays Kevin, “an aspiring club promoter who is best friends with Damon,” the synopsis reads. “Out of money, down on their luck and about to lose the roofs over their heads, they need a huge windfall to make their problems go away. They soon decide to host the party of the year at an exclusive mansion, which just happens to belong to none other than NBA superstar Lebron James.”
House Party premieres in theaters on Jan. 13, 2023.
West Coast Veteran and now actor Snoop Dogg will star in the forthcoming reboot of the ’90’s film House Party and forthcoming movie The Underdoggs.
In the the latter, Snoop will play Jaycen “2J’s” Jenning, a former NFL superstar who, after a run in with the law, agrees to coach a youth football team in lieu of prison in the hopes of relaunching his fledgling career,” the synopsis states.
The Underdoggs is set to premiere Oct. 20 in theaters.
Rapper and now-producer Kid Cudi can be seen making a cameo in House Party on Jan. 13 as he attends one of the wildest mansion parties thrown at LeBron James’ house.
Cudi also starred in his own animated Netflix film, Entergalactic, which accompanied his eighth studio-album released last year.
R&B singer and dancer Tinashe will also make a cameo in the forthcoming remake of House Party set to release Friday (Jan. 13). In the trailer, Tinashe is seen dancing on the floor during a battle.
As a child, Tinashe was featured in the 2003 film Masked & Anonymous, and went on to play Mimi Marquez in Rent: Live and herself on the FOX TV series Empire.
Amongst the star-studded cameos set to take the big screen in House Party, rap royalty Lil Wayne will make an appearance in the film. In the trailer of the Dalmatic-directed reboot, Wayne is seen attending the wild mansion party at Lebron James’ home, as he tends to two women.
Lil Wayne has not fully tapped into his inner actor yet, but has made a plethora of cameos as himself in various TV shows and films.
Atlanta rapper Clifford “T.I.” Harris is no stranger to the big screen. Having already played in major films including ATL, Takers, Antman, Sleepless and many more — he’s now set to star in the forthcoming film Fear.
Per synopsis, T.I. will play “Lou,” in the film where “a much needed getaway and a celebration weekend turns into a nightmare due to the contagious airborne threat.” In the film, T.I. will face his number one fear head on.
Fear is set to hit theaters on Jan. 27.
Multi-sound guitarist and singer Lenny Kravitz is set to appear in Shotgun Wedding alongside Jennifer Lopez as Sean Hawkins.
Kravitz has also starred in films including Precious, The Butler, The Hunger Games films and more.
R&B, Latin and Pop star Jennifer Lopez has given meaning to the term “multifaceted” for years, as she’s acted in various staple films all while having a successful music career.
Starting out with the 1997 biopic of the late Mexican singer Selena, Lopez channeled the slain latin musician’s life in ways many had not seen before. With many films to have followed, now Lopez is gearing up for her next movie, Shotgun Wedding.
According to the Amazon Prime movie’s synopsis, Lopez plays “Darcy alongside Tom (Josh Duhamel) as they gather their lovable but very opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding. However, just as the couple begins to get cold feet, everyone’s lives become suddenly in danger when the entire party is taken hostage.”
Shotgun Wedding releases on Amazon Prime Jan. 27th.
City Girls rapper Yung Miami will be making her second screen appearance in the upcoming Netflix film You People — starring Lauren London, Eddie Murphy, Nia Long and Jonah Hill.
In the trailer, Miami plays a family member of London’s as “A new couple and their families find themselves examining modern love and family dynamics amidst clashing cultures, societal expectations and generational differences in this comedy from Kenya Barris,” Netflix details.
You People comes to Netflix Jan. 27.
Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa will take on the role of Funk legend George Clinton in the forthcoming film Spinning Gold.
The biopic is based on 1970s Casablanca Records chief Neil Bogart, his label housing musical acts including Donna Summer, KISS, Parliament, Village People, The Isley Brothers, Gladys Knight, and Bill Withers, among others.
Khalifa will make his big screen debut on March 31.
R&B/Soul singer Ledisi will also star in Spinning Gold as legendary Soul singer Gladys Knight.
Ledisi has already starred in the award-winning film Selma as Mahalia Jackson and in Leather Heads as a Blues singer. She also took on a motherly role in the 2011 film Leave It On The Floor.
R&B/Pop singer Jason Derulo will show off his acting skills in Spinning Gold as well. He will take on the role of iconic R&B/Soul singer Ron Isley of the Isley brothers.
The “Swalla” singer has played in the movie Cats as “Rum Tum Tugger.”
Rap and fashion icon André Benjamin, b.k.a. Andre 3000 of OutKast, will return to the big screen as “Eric” in the A24 film Showing Up — set to release sometime in Spring of this year.
According to Deadline, “The film is a vibrant and sharply funny portrait of an artist on the verge of a career-changing exhibition. As [Reichardt] navigates family, friends and colleagues in the lead-up to her show, the chaos of life becomes the inspiration for great art.”
The “Prototype” rapper is set to star in the Kelly Reichardt comedy, alongside Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, John Magaro, and Judd Hirsch.
André has already been creditied for roles in films including Four Brothers, Idlewild, Revolver and Be Cool.
Triple-threat R&B singer, actor and comedian Jamie Foxx will star in two films this year.
In the forthcoming Netflix movie They Cloned Tyrone, Foxx plays “Slick Charles.”
“A series of eerie events thrusts an unlikely trio (John Boyega, Foxx and Teyonah Parris) onto the trail of a nefarious government conspiracy in this pulpy mystery caper,” the synopsis reads.
As for the anticipated film Strays, Foxx will portray the voice of an abandoned puppy in the live-action adult animated comedy, directed and produced by Josh Greenbaum. Foxx will star alongside Will Ferrell, Isla Fisher, Randall Park and Will Forte.
They Cloned Tyrone will premiere on Netflix sometime this year as Strays will hit theaters June 9.
Rapper and TV impresario Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is stepping back in front of the camera for a role in the new The Expendables 4 film set to hit theaters Sept. 22 of this year.
As an official synopsis has not been released, The Hollywood Reporter states that the movie, “will once again focus on a group of veteran mercenaries.”
50 Cent is no stranger to the big screen, as he’s not only starred in and produced his own TV shows, but has had major roles in Get Rich or Die Tryin and Escape Plan: The Extractors.
R&B singer and theatre actress Fantasia Barrino will be reprising her role of Celie in The Color Purple broadway show, but now for the big screen.
The 2023 remake of Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film The Color Purple will tell “A story of the life-long struggles of an African American woman living in the south during the early 1900s,” as the original film did starring Whoopi Goldberg.
Fantasia will play in the musical-movie alongside Danielle Brooks, Deon Cole, Taraji P. Henson, David Alan Grier and more. The film will be in theaters Dec 20.
Grammy-winning singer H.E.R. has dabbled in acting, as she starred as Belle in Disney’s musical special for Beauty and The Beast. Now the “Back of My Mind” singer will also star in the forthcoming remake of the 1985 film The Color Purple as “Squeak.”
R&B singer and impressive dancer Ciara will also take on the role of the adult Nettie (sister to Celie) in the remake of The Color Purple, set to premiere this December. She will star alongside Fantasia, Halle Bailey, Taraji P. Henson and more.
Ciara previously played the role of “Brie” in the 2012 film That’s My Boy starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg.
Multi-talented singer and pianist Jon Batiste will debut at the box office as he takes on the role of Grady in the forthcoming remake of The Color Purple.
As part of the singing-sister duo Halle x Chloe, Halle Bailey will not only play the role of a young Nettie in upcoming film The Color Purple, she will also be shifting culture with her groundbreaking role as Ariel in The Little Mermaid.
Bailey, who has been acting since a young child, will play the Disney princess in the all new animated version of the 1974 movie. As in the original, Ariel “makes a deal with a sea witch, to trade her beautiful voice for human legs so she can discover the world above water and impress a prince.,” the synopsis reads.
The Little Mermaid hits theaters May 19.