20 Musician Movie Roles That Bombed

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

California singer Becky G's career took off about three years ago. She rocks a gap-toothed smile almost as well as former model Lauren Hutton, and makes her blockbuster-movie debut playing the Yellow Ranger in the new, not-just-for-kids Power Rangers movie, which opens today.

Early reviews have been mixed, but Power Rangers still stands to make a bundle in the pre-summer blockbuster season. But whatever the movie's fate, Becky joins a long line of music stars who have appeared in movies throughout the decades. Doing both music and movies is a benefit of fame that doesn't always yield such nice results.

Here are 20 such times that made fans ask, "WTF, why is that musical performer in this movie?"

Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

Somewhere, Rowland is regretting making this choice. In atypical slasher-movie style, she doesn’t go out while having sex with another character. Instead, she loses her head while trying to play the dozens with Freddy.

Halloween Resurrection (2002)

Busta’s acting career has been short-lived, and deservedly so. It’s hard to tell if his role in this movie was for comedy relief or to appeal to a new audience since Michael Myers fatigue was setting in by the time this Halloween film rolled around.

The Crow: City of Angels (1996)

This abysmal sequel didn’t need Iggy Pop to play the role of the heavy. While he's great prancing and writhing onstage, the shtick just doesn’t work in a movie.

Spring Breakers (2012)

How do you direct Gucci in a movie where he’s supposed to be a ruthless gangster type? That’s not even acting for him. Here, he gets to talk-rap a lot to James Franco before meeting an unhealthy demise. Given his prodigious rap output, it’s okay to expect more from him on film.

16. Q-TIP (A Tribe Called Quest)
Poetic Justice (1993)

To be fair, this was Tip’s first film role and he had to play against a talented musician-turned-actor in Janet Jackson. Not to mention Tupac was in the movie.

15. NAS and DMX
Belly (1998)

Everyone likes to point out how visually stunning this Hype Williams-directed picture was. But the story and acting left a lot more to be desired; DMX was overacting and Nas doing the opposite. For my money, however, Belly is good for two reasons: the don dada shootout scene, and the scene where a roomful of thugs are watching Harmony Korine’s Gummo.

Black & White (1999)

This film really wanted to capitalize on the Wu-Tang Clan’s popularity. Several members of the crew are in the movie, but it’s producer Power Grant who really gets to shine. Raekwon the Chef, who pretty much plays himself (but with the name Cigar), mumbles a bunch of stuff throughout the picture.

The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)

For fans of the TV show, minus all that Confederate-flag action on the hood of the General Lee, the real fault of this movie was making Daisy Duke a blond. With Simpson taking on the role, it became the stereotypical dumb blond, but if you ever saw her reality show with ex-husband Nick Lachey, you’d know that wasn’t acting.

The Substitute (1996)

One of the least memorable of Hollywood’s 1990s hood action films starred Marc Anthony several years before he became a household name. He plays the main villain, all tough-guy preening and snarling, but is really just funny to look at.

Battleship (2012)

It seemed bad enough that a studio was tricking people into buying tickets to a movie based on an old board game. But then RiRi’s people had to go and convince her to take a major role in the thing. The result: A bunch of explosions and a bunch of limp reactions from one of music’s biggest stars.

Freejack (1993)

The rock god has actually done some decent work in movies, so it's unclear who convinced him to do this bummer of a film. His acting only shows that the only thing worse than a bad Emilio Estevez movie is a bad Emilio Estevez movie with Mick Jagger in it.

Crossroads (2002)

You’d be wrong to expect much from Spears as an actress. After all, the only acting she really did before this was on a kids show and in choreographed music videos. But the quality of her onscreen skills brings down the vibe so much that even a young Zoe Saldana comes off as hackneyed.

Empire (2002)

Before that title became synonymous with the hit television show starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P Henson, it was the title of a middling John Leguizamo-starring gangster movie. Fat Joe, who has 17 movie credits on his acting résumé, has done far worse in movies. The shootout where he dies in Empire, though, just takes the cake.

Talento del Barrio (2008)

Taking a cue from the straight-to-hood genre of movies, this low-budget film shows that Daddy Yankee’s skills as a reggaeton artist don’t translate well to the silver screen. He grimaces his way through car chases and pouts when a little girl is killed in a turf war. Not a good movie to watch if you don’t understand the intricacies of Puerto Rican Spanish.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Was this a casting error? The producer and rapper proudly told everyone that he learned to act by watching YouTube. You can tell.

Snipes (2001)

Did anyone even see this movie? It's the story of a rapper who gets kidnapped. Nelly's acting is beyond terrible, and the only thing worse is that this wouldn't be his last time on film.

Bones (2001)

Director Ernest Dickerson might have thought he could do for Snoop what he did for Billy Zane five years before this film, when he made Tales From The Crypt: Demon Night. But it turned out to be just one in a slew of Snoop's terrible acting roles.

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Uncle L has been given plenty of chances to appear in some really bad movies. His turn as a cook in Deep Blue Sea is almost as believable as the CGI sharks and requisite Samuel L Jackson overacting.

Glitter (2001)

This film, Carey’s first starring role, should just be erased from existence — it’s that bad. News came out this week that her Christmas staple “All I Want For Christmas Is You” will soon become a movie, so here’s hoping she redeems herself.

Buster (1988)

You can never take anything away from the drummer/singer’s musical repertoire in film and pop music, but his starring role in this movie was fairly mediocre. He may have had a better turn as Phil the Shill on Miami Vice.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.