Kendrick Lamar Will Make His Acting Debut On Power
Some legendary Rap artists have launched acting careers while at the top of their music game. Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube, DMX, Queen Latifah, Eminem, Ice-T, and Mos Def are just some of the examples. One of Hip-Hop’s reigning kings is now taking that next step. Kendrick Lamar will make his acting debut on this Sunday’s (July 29) episode of Power.
In a year that included a creative role in the music and style of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, this marks a next step for the Compton, California superstar. He goes from behind the scenes to in front of cameras. On the record-breaking Black Panther, Lamar curated a #1 charting soundtrack album with his label-mates and peers to the film.
“It’s a privilege,” Lamar told the BBC’s Radio 1 in February about working with the film. “The capacity – I’m not even talking about the music – just the movie and the cast and the director, Ryan [Coogler]. I think it’s something that not only stands within this moment but stands within time. You [are] talking about timeless films and things that’s going to curate after the product, after this film. When you get to the music, I just want to make sure I can complement that and be a part of that in the best way I could.” In that same interview, the 31-year-old said that if he were to act, he was attracted to roles written for villains. “I really enjoy ‘Killmonger’s’ character just off the simple fact he was a villain, but he came with some real [acting abilities],” he states of the role occupied by Michael B. Jordan. “He was dropping some jewels, and you’ve got to be aware of what’s going on. He was a villain, but he was loved and misunderstood. So if I could, I’d play a ‘Killmonger’ for sure.”
Throughout recent years, Kendrick has showed flashes of his acting chops in music videos—especially those from Dave Myers & The Little Homies. Lamar is part of that in-house collective responsible for many TDE visuals, ranging from artful music videos to promotional materials.
It is unclear if the “good kid” will play a bad man on Power. However, his presence is met with significant words. “Kendrick [Lamar] is a once in a generation talent and [show creator] Courtney [A. Kemp], 50 [Cent] and I felt it would be exciting to create a role for him in Power. Everyone involved is thrilled to have him join the family,” said executive producer Mark Canton in a statement published at Dateline.
The episode starring K-Dot is titled “Happy Birthday.” Deadline reports the plot as “The ‘St. Patricks’ gather to celebrate ‘Tariq’s’ birthday… the first time without ‘Raina’ and ‘Tasha’ finds a shoulder to cry on in ‘Terry Silver.’ ‘Ghost’ is on the outs with ‘Tate’ and the Queens Child Project and discovers ‘Dre’ is ready to replace him in the legitimate world, driving him toward reckless behavior. ‘Kanan’ drops ‘Tariq’ back at school, the two of them bonding over their shared mistrust of ‘Ghost.'”
Power is currently in its fifth season. A year ago this month, 50 Cent posted an Instagram video of Kendrick Lamar praising Power and its theme song. In 2013, the two Dr. Dre mentees from different decades released collaborative video “We Up.”
The “Happy Birthday” episode premieres at 8 pm EST on Starz.
#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For Heads‘ 2012 “Where It All Began” interview with Kendrick Lamar: