Oscar Winner Mahershala Ali Used To Be a Pretty Good Rapper

Watch at least a minute of the music video below, and tell us if you notice anything interesting about it.

Yup: This Prince Ali fellow is actually Mahershala Ali, and we had no clue that the Oscar winner used to be a rapper ( via Complex). “The Path/Honor Code” comes from Ali’s 2007 album Curb Side Service, and it features some pretty decent rapping from the Moonlight and Luke Cage actor. That was his second and final album though, following up 2006’s Corner Ensemble. It was at this point that acting became a bigger part of his life, landing the role of Tizzy Weathers in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Ali previously expressed his love of hip-hop to Complex, saying he makes playlists for each character he portrays and namedropping a bunch of rappers on his Cottonmouth-based mix. Hip-hop is more vital to Ali than as a tool for developing a character, though. He once told XXL that the music is “an appendage” of himself, saying, “Hip-hop has definitely had a strong, perhaps the strongest influence on my life. I don’t think I’m at all unique with that. I think there’s so many people [who] were able to navigate so many things through the culture of hip-hop and create jobs, have opportunities and been able to express themselves and find their identity. It’s a part of me.”

His rap career may have been short-lived, but it seems he accomplished more in that small window than most rappers do. At the very least, it got his foot in the door of show business, and for that, we’re thankful.

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Featured image: Netflix

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