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50 Cent Joins Ranks of Rappers Who Portray Cops Onscreen


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When he's not rapping or cementing his reputation as hip-hop's greatest entrepreneur, 50 Cent is making and acting in movies thanks to the $200 million, 10-year deal 50's Cheetah Vision Films signed with the production company Lions Gate. In the past, 50 has played a felon ("Righteous Kill"), a drug dealer ("Twelve"), a soldier ("Home of the Brave") a felon-turned-rapper (the autobiographical "Get Rich Or Die Tryin' ") and other characters who operate on the wrong side of the law, which makes his latest acting job all the more surprising: In "Freelancers," 50's next endeavor, the rapper will play the son of a murdered detective who joins the police force himself.

As shocking as it is that a rapper who once performed songs called "Gatman and Robbin" and "Gunz Come Out" is playing a silver-screen law enforcement agent, hip-hop is full of rappers who acted like cops despite the genre's ongoing tension with the law.

• Hip-hop's longest-serving policeman has to be Ice-T, better known as Detective Finn Tutuola on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" for over a decade. As a member of the group Body Count, Ice-T infamously had a controversial hit with the song "Cop Killer." Now, he plays a cop on TV.

• Tupac Shakur's final film role was as Detective Jake Rodriguez in the film "Gang Related." Sure, 2Pac's detective was a dirty cop who went around gunning down drug dealers and police witnesses, but it was still strange to see the rapper behind "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" flashing a badge.

• Easily the funniest rapper-turned-movie cop, Tone Loc played the straight man to Jim Carrey's "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and provided some comic relief as a Lieutenant in "Surf Ninjas."

• The Wu-Tang Clan's producer extraordinaire RZA played a drug enforcement agent helping Russell Crowe rid Harlem of Blue Magic heroin in "American Gangster."

• Diddy is scheduled to portray an NYPD detective on "Hawaii Five-0" this spring, and even trained with a Navy S.E.A.L. for the part.

• Dr. Dre briefly portrayed a crooked cop (we think, his role was never clearly defined) who works alongside Denzel Washington in "Training Day."

[Photo: Michael Bezjian/]

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