Rappers have a certain stigma that surrounds them, and they usually are not seen in family media. That is not always the case though, as on occasion rappers have found themselves in media meant for the entire family. So I decided to count down some of the best times rappers were in family media!
50 Cent – The Simpsons
The Simpsons is one of the longest-running shows of all time, and one of my favorite episodes is Pranksta Rap. In this episode, Bart finds himself at a rap concert and inadvertently gets on stage. After a few seconds, he begins spitting bars and hyping up the crowd. Afterward, he meets an animated 50 Cent who was voiced by the rapper himself. 50 Cent compliments Bart and says a few words of encouragement, before declaring he needs to go and pick up dog poop at the park for his community service. I would have put his connection with Vitamin Water, but children hate that stuff from what I have seen.
Ludacris – Fred Claus
Fred Claus is a pretty good Christmas comedy for the entire family. There are two Claus brothers, Fred who is the troublemaker, and Nick who is the good one. When Fred makes a goof for the last time, Nick brings him to the North pole to work. There we meet an assortment of elves, which one of the leaders is DJ Donnie, played by Ludacris. Luda’s character is of elf size and the entire movie is PG friendly. This is a step from the Ludacris that appeared on Law & Order SVU.
Tyler, the Creator, Childish Gambino, MC Lyte – The Regular Show
Childish Gambino & Tyler, the Creator are two rappers who are not afraid to show off their nerdier sides. Tyler is very open about his love of cartoons and drawing, and Gambino played Troy Barnes on Community (I won’t explain his character because if you have not watched this show, you are doing yourself a disservice). That is why it was no surprise to see Tyler & Gambino on the Regular Show, playing members of a rap battle group that can not be beaten. Both parties give several freestyles throughout the entire episode, bound to make any fan of either laugh. The Regular Show is a kids show but it does seem to have an aim at adults too, so you need to check this one out if you get the chance.
Insane Clown Posse – Been-E-Boyz
The Insane Clown Posse is very unique, to say the least, and has the merchandising game on lock. One example of their merchandising is when they released their very own knock-off Beanie Baby. “Been-E-Boyz” was a limited run of 5 beanie baby like dolls, that depicted rappers ICP and Twizted, as well as ICP affiliate Alex Abbiss. Although these were never official Beanie Babies, I can guarantee that there were Juggalo Beanie Baby collectors who added these in with their collections. In summary, these knock-offs trojan horsed their way into many Beanie Baby collections.
Travis Scott – McDonald’s
The most recent entry on this list is quite possibly also the most unique. McDonald’s is a budget-friendly burger fast food spot, and in 2020 decided to team up with rapper Travis Scott to bring the Travis Scott meal. It consisted of a quarter pounder with bacon and assorted fixings, a medium fry with barbeque sauce, and a medium coke for only $6. Say what you want about the obvious cash grab for Travis, but the $6 meal was a pretty good deal. I made sure to go and try it out, and I thought it was pretty good. My only critique is the use of chopped onions instead of regular McDonald’s onions. Alongside the meal, Travis released a clothing collection of McDonald’s inspired items.
Biz Markie – SpongeBob
Biz Markie is a personal favorite of mine. Best known for his song Just A Friend, I have The Biz Never Sleeps on cassette and find myself listening to it over and over again. That’s why when I was randomly watching an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants and heard a familiar voice, I was pretty stoked. Kenny the Cat was a one-off character on SpongeBob and was voiced by none other than the diabolical Biz Markie. SpongeBob idolizes Kenny the Cat, and they have several interactions with one another throughout the episode.
Ice Cube – Are We There Yet? & Are We Done Yet?
Quite possibly the best rap actor of all time. Even though he still drops music, Ice Cube has made the transition from mainly rap, into mainly acting. His two best movies which I feel like everyone has seen by now is the prequel-sequel Are We There Yet? & Are We Done Yet? Ice Cube is trying to impress a lady and ends up agreeing to take her kids on an extended road trip, to which twists and turns are thrust upon them. The entire movie is PG, and I bet you have seen at least a little bit of it on TV. As I said, Ice Cube is the best rap actor of all time, in my opinion, any role he plays he kills, and thus his versatility is something to admire. But, although I think he is the greatest rap actor, there is one more undeniable entry which takes the cake.
Will Smith – Everything He Does
Will Smith needs no introduction acting-wise, as he has been in everything from the moon and back. Children grew up idolizing him on The Fresh Prince and then went on to act in movies such as Shark Tale, Karate Kid, and most recently, Spies in Disguise. One thing that seems to be unknown by a shockingly large group is that Will Smith started out as a rapper. The Fresh Prince theme should have been a dead giveaway, but I digress. Will Smith is the most successful rap actor to ever grace the movie set and microphone.
Rappers showing up in family media will always be entertaining for the entire family. Did we forget a time when rappers showed up in family media? If so, make sure to let me know in the comments down below!
Senior at Central State University. Major in Broadcast Media!