In Hollywood, actor Rick Gonzalez has made quite the name for himself starring alongside Tom Cruise ("War of the Worlds"), Samuel L. Jackson ("Coach Carter") and Will Ferrell ("Old School"), and now, the Brooklyn native looks to add another dimension to his building career.
As an MC, Realm Reality (Rick's hip-hop alter-ego) has always dreamed of rocking with the best and now he finally has his chance. On Wednesday, Mobb Deep's Prodigy came to MTV News to announce that he has signed Real Reality as an artist to his Sony-distributed Infamous Records.
For a celebrated lyricist of Pee's stature, signing an artist is not so simple. "At Infamous, I'm looking for artists that, #1 have their own movement goin', they got their thing goin' already," he told us.
But Realm didn't just wake up one day and decide to be a rapper. He's been spitting since 1998, and growing up as a kid in Brooklyn, it was all around him. In 2011 he dropped a mixtape titled The Invisible Man, which was marked by grit and attention to lyrical detail. "It was the pulse of my neighborhood so it was always there and I'm proud to say that my passion for acting was there as well," Gonzalez explained. "The fact to have a co-sign like Pee to just really hear the music and just let people know that this is a stamp and that we're coming with some real raw. It's a blessing. It's amazing."
Gonzalez isn't the first actor to make the transition; Drake and Donald Glover as Childish Gambino have made respective impacts on rap as well. Still, Realm is taking a slightly different approach. While Drake came in with a polished, R&B-flavored sound and Glover's raps were peppered with comedy and emotional self-reflection, RR takes a more gritty approach rooted in his experiences before acting. "The fact that Realm is also in Hollywood doing his thing with movies and all that, it only helps," Prodigy said. "In this day in time you have to be multifaceted. You have to wear many hats."
Above all else, the Mobb Deep MC had nothing but praise of Realm's rap ability. "You already know how I feel about lyrics," he said.
Next up is In the Grind We Trust, Realm's upcoming mixtape for which he and Prodigy will hold a listening on Thursday night at Platinum Sound Recording Studios in NYC.
But Gonzalez won't be abandoning what made him famous. He told us he has a few film projects in the works, adding that he wants to blend his passion for both of his artistic outlets. "I look at it as a happy marriage of just having a really hot girlfriend and a side chick that just know each other and they could get along," he described, just as a rapper would.
What do you think of Rick Gonzalez signing to Prodigy? Let us know in the comments!