Rappers RZA and Common have joined fellow artist T.I. in the cast of "American Gangster," a 1970s crime drama starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington.
Rappers RZA and Common have joined fellow artist T.I. in the cast of "American Gangster," a 1970s crime drama starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington. Ridley Scott is directing the Universal Pictures project. Also new to the cast are Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Dirty Pretty Things") and John Ortiz ("Miami Vice").
The movie is based on the life of drug kingpin-turned-informant Frank Lucas (Washington), who shipped heroin to the United States in the coffins of soldiers killed in Vietnam. Lucas was brought to justice by lawman Richie Roberts (Crowe). The two then worked together to expose the crooked cops and foreign nationals.
RZA will play one of Crowe's partners, who is an expert in surveillance. T.I. and Common will play members of Washington's drug empire. Ejiofor will play Washington's brother. Ortiz will play Crowe's undercover partner who becomes a junkie and a murderer.
"Right now I'm learning everything I can about my character. I'm just there to soak things up," T.I. told Billboard.com earlier this month about his role. "There's a bunch of Academy Award-winners on this cast and I'm just there to learn. I'm in school."
Meanwhile, RZA is also scoring and writing songs for "Afro Samurai," a Samuel L. Jackson-voiced animated series on Spike TV. He also wrote the music for the upcoming Tony Jaa film "The Protector."