When US rappers try their hand at acting, the results tend to be either abysmal ‘comic’ turns (Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg) or better-lit versions of themselves (Eminem, 50 Cent). UK rappers, however, seem to be making a far more successful transition.
Proof of this can be found in Channel 4 drama Top Boy, which aired to hefty critical acclaim in 2011, and united former So Solid Crew member Ashley ‘Asher D’ Walters and east London grime stalwart Kane ‘Kano’ Robinson to great effect.
Set on a fictional Hackney housing estate, the show charted the ups and (mostly) downs of a burgeoning drug gang, as they dodge fists, bullets and police vans in an effort to expand their business.
With the excellent news that Top Boy is set to return for a second series at the end of this month, ShortList can exclusively reveal this rather spectacular graffiti mural (above) by modestly-named street art duo BEST|EVER, which will adorn a Hackney wall for the next few weeks, as we wait for the new series.
But what can we expect from these new episodes? Well, Dushane (Walters, right) and Sully (Robinson) are forced to hold their own against an influx of Albanian drug gangs, but, says Walters, “Dushane’s aim this time is to do something big and invest his money in something legitimate. He doesn’t want to be [dealing drugs] forever.”
One thing’s for sure: you won’t see Snoop as a zany, fur coat-clad comedy pimp.
Series 2 of Top Boy begins on Channel 4 later this month