When last year's Oscar race lost a nominee in the Best Original Song category (the Academy revoked its recognition of "Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone), the one that should have slipped into the empty slot is Keith Stanfield's "So You Know What It's Like" from Short Term 12. I like to pretend, since there wound up being no fifth nominee, that this short-listed rap song (written on-screen by Stanfield's character, Marcus) was the unofficial finalist.
Fortunately, that wasn't the end of Stanfield's career playing rappers in the movies. According to the Wrap, he's been cast in the role of Calvin Broadus Jr. in F. Gary Gray's N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton. For those who don't follow every stage act's origins, that's the real name of Snoop Dogg, aka Snoop Lion, aka Snoop Doggy Dogg, as he initially went by back in the early 1990s. Stanfield is a rapper in real life, too, as a member of the group Moors.
We have to assume this new part is not that huge since Snoop didn't meet up with Dr. Dre (played in the movie by Corey Hawkins) for their first collaboration ("Deep Cover") until the year after N.W.A. split. But a movie like this wouldn't be complete without showing the afterlife of Dre, Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) and the rest post-1991 breakup. Surely we'll at least see through 1995, the year Easy-E (Jason Mitchell) died of AIDS. Of course, I'm hoping they go another decade so we can see Ice Cube deciding to make Are We There Yet?
Stanfield, a star on the rise who earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance in Short Term 12 (he was also in the original short), was recently in The Purge: Anarchy and he'll soon be seen as another famous face in Ava DuVernay's Selma, playing the Michael Brown of his day -- Jimmy Lee Jackson, whose shooting triggered the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march for Civil Rights. That's not it for biopics, either. He has an unknown part -- hopefully a musical one -- in the upcoming Miles Davis movie Miles Ahead, too.
Watch Stanfield perform "So You Know What It's Like" in Short Term 12 in the clip above. Below is a music video of his song "Asphyxiated" with Moors.
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