When you are watching your favorite TV show, nothing beats the thrill of a surprise cameo. Especially, when it is by someone as iconic as a world-renowned rapper. From sitcoms to crime dramas, many rappers have tried their hand at acting, and some have left a lasting impression.
With that said, here are some historic rapper cameos that not only stole the show but also left fans cheering for an encore.
Kendrick Lamar on "Power"
Kicking off with a bang, let's talk about Kendrick Lamar’s appearance on "Power." In a series known for its cutthroat drama and intense performances, Lamar made his acting debut in a guest role that fans still talk about. The Compton rapper played Laces: A drug addict who assists Kanan, played by 50 Cent, in a devious plot.
Kendrick’s performance was nuanced and authentic. It captivates the audience with his seamless transition from music to acting. His multi-layered performance was a cameo that did more than just add star power. It added depth to the gritty narrative of the show.
The Notorious B.I.G. on "Martin"
Rewind to the 90s, and you will catch one of the most memorable cameos in TV history. The Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls, graced the sitcom "Martin" with his larger-than-life presence. In the episode titled “Blow, Baby, Blow,” Biggie plays himself, a rapper looking to hire Gina's marketing services.
The late rapper’s foray into the comedic realm was as smooth as his flow on the mic. It is one of those cameos that bridged the gap between hip-hop and mainstream media. Something that showcases the cultural influence rappers could have on television audiences.
Method Man and Redman on "The Jamie Foxx Show"
When you have not one, but two hip-hop heavyweights dropping by, you know the episode is going to be fire. Method Man and Redman brought their A-game to "The Jamie Foxx Show" in an episode that is as memorable for its comedy as it is for its showcase of raw talent.
Playing themselves, the duo checks into the King's Tower Hotel, where Jamie King (played by Jamie Foxx) works, leading to a series of laugh-out-loud encounters. Thus, their appearance was a testament to the crossover appeal of rappers in the entertainment industry.
Nas on "Hawaii Five-0"
From the gritty streets to tropical beats, Nas flipped the script with his appearance on "Hawaii Five-0." The Queensbridge lyricist stepped into the role of Gordon Smith, a hardened criminal caught in the middle of a case.
While it was not a lighthearted role like the others on this list, Nas brought a grounded, solemn performance to the crime drama. His cameo was brief but impactful, displaying his versatility as an artist and his ability to step into any character.
LL Cool J on "The Adventures of Pete & Pete"
Finally, let's dial it back to a time when LL Cool J was not known for knocking out bad guys on "NCIS: Los Angeles." But for knocking out verses. On the quirky, beloved show "The Adventures of Pete & Pete," LL played a teacher, Mr. Throneberry, in a dream sequence.
With his infectious charisma, LL Cool J delivered a performance that was both surreal and delightful, fitting right into the show's surreal universe. Even in this brief role, he left a mark as a figure of coolness and mentorship. A far cry from his hard-hitting rapper persona. This early TV appearance was a sign of things to come for LL, who would later become a full-fledged TV star in his own right.