Big Screen Debut: “Where The Day Takes You,” 1992 What’s Next: Smith has 33 films in development! “Men In Black 3” is in pre-production, set to release in 2012. Verdict: Rapper to mega-super Hollywood star. He’s the best to ever do it.
Big Screen Debut: “Boyz N The Hood,” 1991 What’s Next: Ice Cube is currently involved in seven films in development including “Tough Love” and “Rampart.” Verdict: As long as Ice Cube wears his seatbelt, he don’t mind if he keeps acting.
Big Screen Debut: “Dreamgirls,” 2006 What’s Next: Hudson scored the star role in the 2011 film, “Winnie,” the story of Nelson Mandela’s wife. Verdict: She deserved her Oscar for “Dreamgirls,” but her follow-up appearance in “Sex and the City” was painful to watch.
Clifford "T.I." Harris
Big Screen Debut: “ATL” What’s Next: His movie “Takers” will be out in August. He is also working on two new films, “For Sale” and “Boulevard.” Both are currently in development. Verdict: With more experience and more roles, Harris has the chops to carry on Will Smith’s torch.
Big Screen Debut: ‘The Player’s Club,’ 1998 What’s Next: Percy Miller has just completed ‘Down and Distance,’ playing the role of Coach Dallas. Verdict: One rapper who should have never done it.
Big Screen Debut: “The Bachelor,” 1999 What’s Next: Mariah dropped out of Tyler Perry’s upcoming “For Colored Girls…,” perhaps because being a mommy is the next role for Carey. Verdict: Admittedly Mariah surprised us with how great she was in “Precious,” but it didnt make us forget “Glitter.”
Big Screen Debut: “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” 2002 What’s Next:Beyonce will join the cast to the film remix of “Gilligan’s Island,” in which she’ll play the red-headed beauty Ginger. Verdict: Bey gets a pass when she is involved in movies that are centered around singing roles, but everything else? Not so much.
Big Screen Debut: “Get Rich or Die Trying,” 2005 What’s Next: We all remember how much weight Curtis Jackson lost filming his next movie, “Things Fall Apart.” Verdict: “Get Rich or Die Trying,” was based on his life so he didn’t have to reach deep. However, his follow up film, “Righteous Kill” — killed us softly.
Big Screen Debut: “Half Baked,” 1998 What’s Next: The film, “Coach Snoop,” is in development. Verdict: Hard to tell, because we can’t remember a role Snoop didn’t play a version of himself, and marijuana wasn’t involved.
Big Screen Debut: “Cavedwellers,” 2004 What’s Next: Jill Scott is busy recording her fifth album, “Light of the Sun.” Verdict: Jill Scott handles the stage and the silver screen like a pro.
Big Screen Debut: “Four Brothers,” 2005 What’s Next: We’re not sure, but we’re hoping to hear another Outkast record soon, and Big Boi’s latest has only whet our appetite. Verdict: Listen, we love Andre, he’s talented as can be. We’d just like to hear some music from him before seeing him reappear on the big screen, okay? Priorities.
Big Screen Debut: “Baby Boy,” 2001 What’s Next: Tyrese is all about the action, he has confirmed roles in “Luke Cage,” “Transformers 3,” and “Fast and Furious 5.” Verdict: We love to see him sing, love to see him act, love to see him smile, we love to see him….
Big Screen Debut: “Jungle Fever,” 1991 What’s Next: The covergirl is rumored to be filming, “What You Don’t Know” and is confirmed as a voice for the second installment of the animated film “Ice Age,” set to drop in 2012. Verdict: Like Will Smith, she’s a Hollywood leading lady still respected in rap.
Big Screen Debut: “Stomp the Yard,” 2007 What’s Next: Brown joins rapper T.I in the film “Takers,” in theaters in August. Verdict: The 2010 BET Awards reminded us what a great actor Brown is.