By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
So you're a young man with star-studded dreams of Hollywood. What are you doing in drama school?
There's just no need: The Rap Institute of Acting offers a quick, inexpensive avenue into the world of television and movies. And, sure, while it's true that a little pigmentation helps, even pale-faced homeboys like Vanilla Ice and Marky Mark have parlayed their minimal rap talent into fame and riches (respectively). Now you can too!
Just as athletes use their on-field exploits as a stepping-stone to the broadcast booth, you can leverage hip-hop into a more reliable, better-paying career. Ice Cube, Ice-T, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah and Will Smith are just a few of the artists who've traded in dwindling rap relevancy for a career with their name in lights. We'll show you the way!
It begins with intensive introductory classes that will instruct you on all you need to know about rapping. We'll train you to talk about how hard you are, how big your rep is and suggest the same about your "steel." We'll also school you on the construction of familiar, thinly drawn characters and a preposterous backstory to establish your street cred.
Later courses focus on source material including slinging drugs for fun and profit (hosted by The Wire's Stringer Bell, aka DJ Driis), concocting the purple drank, faking a beef to draft on the success of other rappers, and the finer points of costume jewelry and grills (with special guest Paul Wall).
With our instruction, you'll find there's nothing to it! Whether you're a sheet metal worker or a corrections officer, we'll teach you to affect the impenetrable cool, overweening ego and dismissive manner of a true rap star. No experience necessary either—just enough brash attitude to sell your version of "the real." And we'll teach you that as well!
Those suffering a fundamental distaste for gangsta braggadocio need not despair. We'll hone your soft-spoken seriousness into conscious patter, affording you a gravitas that lets everyone know you're above simple escapism. Remember: You want them to think! You'll transform banal sentiments and dog-eared wisdom into humorless testaments to your intelligence. You'll discover the art of turning your commercial failure into a badge of honor with which to bludgeon more popular artists. Though rarely a path to mainstream musical success, it hasn't prevented Common and Mos Def from forging prosperous movie careers with but a cult following!
This brings us to our graduate-level coursework, which will demonstrate how to convert your rap visibility into movie and television roles. It's as simple as exchanging one stereotype for another. Really: At this point in your studies, you're already comfortable with the stage, inventing stories and embellishing the truth. Acting's just an agent away! With our help, you'll soon be able to land parts as a criminal, drug addict, cop or even an amusing, street-wise, fish out of water stuck in some middle-class or upper-crust milieu. As with rapping, skill is less essential than the ability to broadcast a presence. Look at Snoop—he's the same larger-than-life pimp onscreen as he is on record. D'ya call that acting?
Best of all, when you're an actor, the studios provide the props, freeing you from the expenses of all the bling, cars, shiny suits, top-shelf liquor and legions of women and hangers-on, not to mention the label's cut of your sales. Acting is like hip-hop's retirement home, providing a better living than you could ever expect from any release beyond your sixth album.
Don't swim against the current of rap's youthful tide, visit The Rap Institute of Acting and build your better future today!