Presenting the First Annual Noisey Academy Awards
Will Gucci Pull Off The Upset?
The strangest things can happen when rappers (and singers and songwriters) get wrapped up in image and acting. And while we here at Noisey are more concerned with the rapping and singing and songwriting than the acting, we love movies almost as much as we love music. This Sunday, the 86th annual Academy Awards will take place in Los Angeles, and while no musicians were nominated in any of the acting categories this year (yes, we know, and no, Jared Leto doesn't count), there sure were plenty of musicians on the big screen this year.
In the spirit of the Awards Season™, we want to invite you to participate in the festivities. Here you'll find the most vital and definitive information on your favorite musicians forays into the world of cinema (theatrical releases only—sorry Fif*), including their odds of winning our very prestigious Noisey Academy Award, which has been described by Variety as “technically more impressive than a Razzie.” So get your ballots ready, pour yourself four fingers of bathtub gin and enjoy the show!
(We know this scene is, technically, from Fast Five. But it's a Funny Scene, so bear with us.)
Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Fast 6
Role: Tej Parker, member of the Fast & Furious heist team.
Noisey Oscar Worthiness: Despite being the only nominee on this list to have appeared in a film to win Best Picture (never minding that it was also the shittiest film to ever win Best Picture), Ludacris' awkwardness in front of the camera is truly something to behold. Appearing in now half of the Fast & Furious movies to date, his character Tej really only exists to provide some mild comic relief (as if the franchise was in short supply) and to trade "snaps" with Tyrese. His debut in 2 Fast 2 Furious made some sense in that it was 2003, and Chris had been busy pumping out irreverent clips for "Saturday" and"Rollout"—clearly dude had a sense of humor. Too bad that kind of charisma doesn't always translate to the big screen (ever seen The Wash?), and even if it did, it's not like the guy had much to work with here (Luda: "It's all between you and the car. It's a bond. It's a commitment." Tyrese: "Sounds like a marriage to me." Luda: "Yeah, but with cars, when you trade up they don't take half your shit!").
Vegas Odds: 25:1. The only screen time Chris will be getting at this year's ceremony will be a cut-to during Paul Walker's bit during the In Memoriam. Still, you never know. Luda's been known to sneak up on things.
Bradford Cox, Dallas Buyers Club
Role: Sunny, the lover of an AIDS stricken transgender woman Rayon (Jared Leto).
Noisey Oscar Worthiness: Very high. Dallas Buyers Club itself is nominated for six real Oscars this year, including a Best Supporting Actor nod for our favorite follicley-inclined 30 Seconds to Mars frontman, though only god knows why. Where Leto gives one of the most tryhard performances of the year, Cox's comparative restraint feels refreshing. Granted, he doesn't have much screen time, but he shows a lot of promise for a first-timer.
Vegas Odds: 10:1. Popular Indie Frontman + Eccentric Dude + Movie Where
Rust Cohle Matthew McConaughey Tears It Up = Noisey Oscar Bait
Drake and Kanye West, Anchorman 2
Role(s): Soul Brother (Drake, as listed on IMDB), who appears in an early sequence, and an MTV reporter (Kanye), who shows up for the film's climax.
Noisey Oscar Worthiness: On one hand, nah. These are cameos, with one being too brief and the other being not very good. On the other, hey, it's Drake and Kanye. But looking back at their respective forays into comedy—Drake's SNL hosting gig and Kanye's never-was, never-should've-been HBO improv series—we get a clearer picture. Kanye's got a primo spot as head of the MTV news team in everyone's favorite quickly-escalating fight sequence, but the reveal was blown months in advance of the movie's release (thanks, internet). Without the surprise, he's not only underutilized but he's just about as self-aware and unfunny as he was in that pilot. Drake, on the other hand, is as charming and on-point as he was hosting SNL. The problem? Guy only has like one line.
Vegas Odds: 15:1 for Drizzy, 20:1 for Kanye. Neither will show up to the awards anyways, and Macklemore will win instead.
Justin Timberlake, Inside Llewyn Davis and Runner Runner
Role(s): Jim, the clean-cut folk singer who makes up half of the duo Jim and Jean with the titular character's ex-girlfriend (Llewyn Davis), and Richie, a college student and online poker player who runs afoul of criminals (Runner).
Noisey Oscar Worthiness: Ever since "you know what's cooler than a million dollars?," JT's acting career has been on a serious slide. Though both parts of his 20/20 Experience were more warmly received than they should have been because of his absence from the music world... Jesus Christ, have you seen In Time? [EDITOR'S NOTE: Holy shit, yeah.] How about Friends With Benefits? Hoo boy. But it's not like the guy can't act. He's reliably great on SNL and in small parts, and should've had a serious career after Alpha Dog(who knew Justin could play such a convincing stoner!). Aside from looking pretty and singing a song or two, there's not much for him to do in Llewyn, but because he's so natural onscreen, we kind of wish he did. As for Runner Runner, which was no success at the box office, Timberlake finds himself… ah fuck it. Honestly? We didn't see it.
Vegas Odds: 15:1. That orange sweater, tho.
Gucci Mane, Spring Breakers
Role: Archie (aka Big Arch), a gangster and friend-turned-enemy of rapper/ drug dealer Alien (James Franco).
Noisey Oscar Worthiness: Massively worthy. Though it's nearly impossible to stand out playing opposite Franco's RiFF RAFF-cribbing Alien character, Radric brings a disquieting menace to his role, slept-through sex scene and all. Just note his dead-eyed "my baby hungry" monologue, the strip club showdown, or even just this. Spring Breakers was a risky and frequently brilliant movie that nearly paid off but ultimately failed to, "Everytime" sequence notwithstanding. Gucci, on the other hand, is an inspired piece of stunt casting that offered a glimpse into what could have been.
Vegas Odds: 10:1. Given his recent travails, the role of Archie might be hitting a little too close to home, but you really can't argue with the results.
Who Should Win: S'GUCCI! What should've been one-note walk-on from a zeitgeist-y rapper instead resulted in a scary, oddly emotional performance. Franco casts a huge shadow, but Gucci's weirdly wounded, understated performance deserved to to be taken seriously. It's been a hard year for Guwop; he could use the W.
Who Probably Will Win: Cox. Despite barely being in the film, and the fact that Monomania wasn't all that great, the guy might have a future in the biz.
But who will ultimately take home the gold? Tune in to the first annual Noisey Oscars—which totally don't fucking exist—this Sunday at 8:00pm EST, right here on this very webpage!
*No, we didn't see Escape Plan, either. Shut up.
The Oscars are bullshit, anyways. Watch ours instead.
Zach Kelly has groomed his facial hair so he'll be ready for the celebratory selfie with the winner. He's on Twitter. - @ZachWKelly