Fire Starter: Slaine
Born George Carroll, Slaine got his start alongside Boston rap legend Edo G. and fellow MC Jaysaun in the group Special Teamz, who released their debut album, Stereotypez, in 2007. From there, Slaine hooked up with another hip-hop luminary, Everlast from House of Pain. Together, Everlast, Slaine, Ill Bill, Danny Boy and DJ Lethal hooked up to form La Coka Nostra. As a rapper, Slaine made a name for himself in hip-hop's underground but wasn't a widely recognizable face — that is until actor/director Ben Affleck saw him in a local newspaper and expressed interest in casting the MC in his film "Gone Baby Gone."
"He had never heard my music. He just saw my face in the paper, and he was casting, I guess he thought I looked the part," Slaine said of how he hooked up with the Academy Award-winning Boston native. "My picture was in the Boston Herald talking about what I was doing with my music. I woke up one afternoon, and I had 66 missed phone calls. They called me in to do an audition — turned out I had to do five auditions."
Affleck had to fight with the producers to get the first-time actor the role of drug dealer Bubba Rogowski and then brought him back years later to play bank robber Albert Magloan in "The Town." Next up for the rapper/actor is "Cogan's Trade," a mob-inspired flick starring Brad Pitt and Ray Liotta.
Lately, Slaine has been working overtime with the music. This past summer, he released his State of Grace mixtape with DJ Statik Selektah and then quickly followed up with his latest album, A World With No Skies 2.0. "I'm at the same level, if not further along, with my film career than I am with my music career," Slaine said of the balance between his two arts. "I've had a long independent music career, but people almost know me more now for films. So it's hard, because it's not the same as a Ludacris or an Ice Cube, where they have that mega-success in music and then they can kinda just take time off and shoot movies.
"Music is something that's more therapeutic for me. I have to do it. I have to do it when I wake up in the morning, I have to write," he said. "Where acting hasn't been a part of my DNA from the beginning, it's something that I've added to my repertoire."
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