Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Oscar love for Ludacris

My Oscar tidbit for today: two movies featuring Ludacris are getting a lot of play in the Academy Award nominations. In "Crash," he plays Anthony, a carjacking thug who complains that people look at him like he's some kind of carjacking thug. He also voices some harsh yet amusing criticism of rap music and posits a highly original theory of rap's origins. Of course, by the end of the movie we learn that Anthony, like all the other characters in the film, is just as capable of a good deed as a bad one. In "Hustle and Flow," he plays Skinny Black, a local rapper who has made it big and become a sellout. Now, playing a famous rapper isn't much of a stretch, but with all the fuss hiphoppers make about "street cred" and "keepin' it real," he chose to play a character who clearly has gotten away from that and, even worse, gets himself beaten bloody at the end of the movie. What I really find puzzling is that Ludacris does not appear to have any cuts on the soundtrack. I guess he really wants to be taken seriously as an actor and is not afraid to go against type. Only time will tell if he can achieve the complete crossover success of Mos Def, Ices T and Cube, and LL Cool J.

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