Rick Gonzalez Credits Big Pun, Tupac For Rap Career As Realm Reality

The Invisible Man mixtape coming May 24, Gonzalez tells Mixtape Daily.

Celebrity Favorites: Rick Gonzalez

Actor [movieperson id="283398"]Rick Gonzalez[/movieperson] is best known for his roles in movies like "Coach Carter," "Old School" and the 2007 crime drama "Illegal Tender," but there is a musical side to him that his fans might not know. Realm Reality is Gonzalez's rap alter-ego that he developed back in 1998, and while he is most famous for his Hollywood accomplishments, he insists that his hip-hop aspirations are deep-rooted.

"It's always been a part of me, and acting will always be there too, so it's not like I'm embarking and leaving one for the other," Gonzalez — who grew up in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York — told Mixtape Daily. "It's a perfect marriage because the world of hip-hop and what I do, it lends itself and gives me the time I need to devote to it, and at the same time, I can still read scripts and audition for things and be a part of films."

So, from where does he draw his MCing inspiration? The first rapper he credits is the late Big Pun. "He dropped Capital Punishment, and that cemented the deal for me," Gonzalez said. "He basically told me by dropping that album that anyone that looks like me and comes from where I come from can do what I do."

There are others however: The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Mobb Deep and the late rapper/actor Tupac Shakur round out his faves. It's with 'Pac that he finds the deepest connection.

"I was a huge Tupac Shakur fan because I was drawn to his passion," Gonzalez said. "Technically, as a rapper, he probably wasn't the best. But the way he conveyed his emotion and who he was as an actor made me really connect with him."

On the acting side, Gonzalez is set to appear in the upcoming horror flick "Emergo," and musically, as Realm Reality, he is putting the finishing touches on his The Invisible Man mixtape, which is scheduled to be released online at RealmReality.net on May 24.

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