A$AP Rocky as James Bond, and Other Suggestions for Rappers in Major Movie Franchises
In an interview with Esquire, A$AP Rocky claimed that “We need a black James Bond. I’d get the job done and I’ll look better than any other Bond that has ever lived.” Rappers have acted in films since Fab Five Freddy’s turn in Charlie Ahearn’s seminal graffiti film Wild Style. Thirty-two years later, only rappers Ice Cube (the Friday series) and Will Smith (Men In Black and Bad Boys) have been the stars of a franchise, and none have been the face of a franchise with the incredibly high profile of the Bond films. What if rappers were cast in Hollywood’s most prestigious roles, though? Who would have the best comedic chops? Who would get to turn a supernatural shade of green and fight crime alongside the Avengers? Here are our picks.
Future as James Bond
James Bond woos beautiful women, drives expensive cars (traditionally an Aston Martin), and wears tailored suits. Future woos beautiful women, drives expensive cars (preferably roofless), and, of late, has taken to wearing large hats and an array of chains. With Daniel Craig reportedly slated for one final Bond film following this year’s Spectre, there have been calls to have a black James Bond, Idris Elba a particularly popular choice. Were those in charge of the Bond series to select Future, they’d have juicy biographical details from which to craft films. An idea: From Atlanta With Love, in which Future rescues Ciara from Dr. Russell Wilson, a religious fanatic in an eyepatch.
Action Bronson as The Hulk
When Bruce Banner is calm, he’s a quick-witted scientist, but when he gets angry, he turns into The Hulk, a green, mountainous unstoppable force, whose strength is proportional to his fury. Who better to play The Hulk than rap’s most burly, Action Bronson. Instead of a brilliant scientist, Bruce Banner is a Michelin-starred chef, prone to fits of rage when his produce is substandard, his grill chef cooks a steak well-done, or when the plating is sloppy. The Hulk’s catchphrase could be easily updated: “You’re making me hungry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry.”
Kanye West as Ron Burgundy
Ron Burgundy’s defining characteristic is that even when he’s faced with insurmountable proof of his own wrongness he plows ahead. The wrongheaded rant is becoming the Kanye West signature. When his own anger renders him completely incapable of expressing himself intellectually, he still speaks (or shouts) with absolute sincerity. His own Veronica Corningstone, Kim Kardashian, has proven to be the inspiration for some, uh, interesting artistic decisions. West made a cameo in Anchorman 2 as an MTV VJ, which underplayed his flair for the dramatic.
Kevin Gates as Shrek
Shrek’s story is a tribute to traditional folk-tales–he’s an unlikely, gruff hero who defeats an evil king and marries his true love, Princess Fiona. Kevin Gates, like Shrek, knows what it’s like to come from a swamp, though to say Baton Rouge is overrun with fairytale creatures is to perhaps oversell its charms. Gates has yet to find his soulmate (a cousin reportedly came close), but, like Shrek he went on an adventure and emerged a more stable, edified human. That adventure was prison. Gates is unfiltered and emotionally hypersensitive–with some family-friend censorship he’d be a sympathetic, archetypal antihero.
Jay Electronica as Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman
Sue Storm was exposed to massive amounts of cosmic radiation, giving her the ability to become invisible at will. Jay Electronica was exposed to massive amounts of Roc Nation, giving him the ability to become invisible at will. Electronica’s hype began building with his 2007 EP, Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), and apexed with 2009’s “Exhibit A” (featuring Mos Def) and “Exhibit C,” both produced by Just Blaze. In the ensuing six years, Electronica has often promised Act 2: Patents of Nobility (The Turn) and never delivered. Listeners receive bi-annual guest appearances from Electronica, but Act 2… is now engaged in a race with Dr. Dre’s Detox to see which will be released first.
Were Electronica to be cast as Sue Storm, Just Blaze could be cast as Johnny Storm (Human Torch), Jay Z as Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic), and Mos Def as Ben Grimm (Thing), creating the Fantastic Four of influential people who have yet to goad Electronica into releasing an album.
Image: Chris B Murray