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Why You Gotta Do Us Like That, Joaquin?


So have you guys heard that Joaquin Phoenix is a rapper now? Seriously. I'd heard that he was going to quit acting and get into music some time ago, and I immediately thought "Oh cool, obviously he was inspired by his performance in Walk the Line, and decided to start up a band, and unlike every other actor who has ever decided to branch out into music, there's the slim chance that he won't suck because of his strong singing performance as Johnny Cash". Little did I know at the time that he was talking about rap.

Don't get me wrong, I like quite a lot of rap, but when I first heard that's what Joaquin would be doing I knew that this had the potential to be very, very bad. I like Joaquin, and I do not want to see him become a laughing stock. But I am afraid we are starting to see the horrible downward spiral of someone who by all accounts seems like a pretty cool and likable enough guy.

After seeing a picture of his current "situation", I thought perhaps the troubled economy had even taken its toll on him, forcing Mr. Phoenix to live in the streets, begging for bread crumbs and change from Vegas casino goers. But no, this is apparently some kind of personal "style choice". Now, I realize that oftentimes celebrities will make themselves look like shit when they go out in public so as to be unrecognizable, but this here is something very different. This is a horribly botched attempt at reinventing himself. Or someone who clearly does not give a shit.

And then I saw the video of his recent three-song performance in Vegas. Granted, the sound quality is not very good. Maybe his skills as a lyricist are unmatched--I wouldn't know because I couldn't make out any of the words. But the crowd sure didn't seem to be that stoked about it. And what little I did hear did not fill me with confidence. And then he leaves the stage only to trip and fall into the crowd. I think that says it all right there. I was really hoping that he'd turn out to be a good rapper, but I'd say that's looking pretty unlikely at this point.

What do you guys think of all this? And what's your favorite embarrassing actor-turned-"musician" story? There are so many to choose from.


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HeroliciousDeBlanc on 01/23/2009 12:21 am

I think when Joaquin Phoenix said he was going to get into music, he just meant that he was going to get into drugs. All of them.

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Jaimas on 01/23/2009 12:40 am

He looks like my dad, back in the 70s.

That is frickin' scary. o_o'

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Tadao on 01/23/2009 12:47 am

He is trying to find the blues demons. He taunts then with unkempt hair and dirty knees. They will come to him when all is lost. Probably next month.

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Doctor_Who on 01/23/2009 1:06 am

If he forms a musical duo with K-Fed, the sheer power of suck just might awaken Cthulu from the depths.

Seriously, when I first heard about this I was certain it was a joke. The only actors who can become musicians and get away with it are those who are so bad at both careers that it becomes awesome on some level. Like Shatner.

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DaJoker on 01/23/2009 1:18 am

The dude has never got over rivers death thats for sure I hope he can make a fresh start on life and don't go the way of Heath Ledger.

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Godzilla on 01/23/2009 2:10 am

Hmmm. He's on his way to looking like "The Dude"... But without being awesome...

But seriously, Rapping? That's just plain stupid...

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Purple Man on 01/23/2009 2:28 am

The rumour I've heard, Mr Protoclown, is that the whole thing is a setup. It would appear young Joaquin is making some kind of mockumentary, satirizing the kind of celebrity follies he's currently indulging.

At least that's the story, it sounds suspiciously like a "reset button" to me, in case this sorry rapping business falls through - "see folks, it was all just a joke! HA HA! How postmodern".

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greenimp on 01/23/2009 2:52 am

the thought of the person i see in the image rapping appalingly then falling into the crowd is insanely hillarious.

on a sidenote, how can you be BAD at rapping??? i mean, i've met one bad "rapper" and he was born deaf, so he couldent pronounce certain sounds.

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HowardC on 01/23/2009 3:58 am

The truth is, you can't be bad at rapping because that's like being an inferior turd compared to other turds.

The genre has a few (and I mean very few) legitimate artists mixed in with thousands upon thousands of idiots who wouldn't know talent if they plated it gold and wore it around their necks. I have little respect for rap because:

1. I've never heard a rapper that can sing even remotely well. They speak their words because they CANNOT sing them, because they lack any talent. Don't believe me? Check out snoop dogg, one of the best selling rappers of all time, tribute to metallica at rock honors a few years back. Sadly that was one of the BETTER singing performances I've heard from a rap star.

2. I've seldom heard any rap songs that contain original music and not blatent sampling of legitimate songs. Couple this with #1 and you are getting pretty shaky on the whole "artist" title.

3. I've very rarely heard a rap song with clever or meaningful lyrics. Now I know many of you are thinking "other genres aren't exactly deep either" but other genres have actual, performed, music in the background accompanied by an actual singer. If you are going to skimp on the vocal and musical talent then you need to have substance in the meaning of the words.

I put rap music right up there with online remixes of songs for club use. Sure you might find a catchy beat out of a song once in a while, but it's less talent and more luck of a draw as the "author" randomly pastes crap together until it sounds good.

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-RoG- on 01/23/2009 5:21 am

I honestly think he's just fucking with everybody and having a big laugh about all of this.

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peh_ on 01/23/2009 5:36 am

So I've heard the same "mocumentary" rumor, so lets hope that's true.. And not to detract from the thread, but I have to respond to the last post...

1) Many a "rapper" can sing including (despite his splotchy career) Wyclef has a great singing voice (shall we ignore Lauryn Hill??) but that's not the point. Rap is it's own unique art form where singing isn't the point. The expression is in the spoken word. Much like folk in the early 60's where the words mattered, not the quality of voice that sang it. At the time Leonard Cohen Or Bob Dylan were criticized for "not singing"... Many a great lyricist who "can't sing" is now revered... We just caught up to the words they were saying and pushed aside that they were crappy singers...

2) Again sampling is it's own unique art form. If you've ever had the opportunity to see a real DJ at work, the skill and concentration is mesmerizing. I tried the mixing booth at the EMP in Seattle and got my ass kicked. Inspiration is always evident in music (Dylan again BLATANTLY ripped off Guthrie). Hip hop is no different. Recording and expression just evolved. If you take away the stigma of "Rap" look at "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve... A great track that is all "Borrowed". The worst is thinking about a crappy cover (Lenny Kravitz and "American Woman") where they "Artist" "Plays" but is uninspired... What is worse?

3) Public Enemy, The Roots, Jurassic 5... Listen before you speak.

Sorry to use a humor site to counter this...

p.s. I don't really like hip-hop that much...

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Pentegarn on 01/23/2009 5:52 am

Hey Peh you forgot Everlast (he was in House of Pain and he crossed over into rock) However for the most part, you have to admit that rap requires less vocal and musical talent and more image to be successful in.

And don't get me started on covers, they suck more often than not (though there are exceptions)

Back to topic though, I didn't see Mr. Phoenix's foray into hip hop, but I did hear he almost fell off the stage while doing it :D


ABomb (Guest) on 01/23/2009 8:02 am

No one can rap as well as Randy Savage.

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Icculus on 01/23/2009 9:35 am

I'm hoping when I die I will be able to witness the greatest freestyle battle of all time. Randy Savage vs Rodney Dangerfield.

For those young bucks out there go find a copy of Here Comes the Judge. EPIC!

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Angryhydralisk on 01/23/2009 10:48 am

Who is he again?

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GreenPeaness on 01/23/2009 11:23 am

I'd buy an album he released as long as he samples his own lines from Gladiator.

*thumpa thumpa thumpa*
Moaned like a whore
*thumpa thumpa thumpa*
Moaned like a whore
*Awww yeah. Heah it comes. Joaquin in the hizzy*
As the s-s-s-soldiers ravaged her
*We be straight real. Fo real fo real*
again and again and again.


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stonewar on 01/23/2009 11:56 am

I agree with Rog. I bet its a joke especially when I heard Casey Affleck is following him around making a "documentary."

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DavidFullam on 01/23/2009 12:10 pm

HowardC, I like your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

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El Sammo on 01/23/2009 12:46 pm

Duuude, Greenpeaness, I would flip like a person flipping to hear that song.

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Silver on 01/23/2009 2:48 pm

I don't listen to rap because I find it so boring and repetitive. All the songs are about the same stuff. I am pretty sure that it ranks second (Reggaeton being the first place) on my list of music genres I don't listen because of their suckiness.

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Aura Fox on 01/23/2009 4:59 pm

I'd say Jared Leto but i liked all his relatively small movie roles and his band, But, if you dont like the guy he gets beaten into disfigurement in Fight Club.

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10,000 Volt Ghost on 01/23/2009 7:09 pm

He looks like Brian Posehn now.

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Mister Tea on 01/23/2009 10:22 pm

Sampling is its own art form? Fine, then so is embezzlement; I mean, just think about all the work someone has to do in order to defraud a company or individual out of their money and get away with it! That's talent, muthafucka!

I call bullshit. Dress it up and make it dance with specious logic, but sampling is still stealing, and I'm not impressed by it.

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kidneyboy on 01/24/2009 4:38 am

whoa, Jim Morrison lost some weight! Good for him!

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Kilgore Cod on 01/24/2009 8:37 am

He needs a back up band. I suggest:

Guitar: Steven Seagal
Bass: Keanu Reeves
Drums: Animal

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Desert_Screams on 01/24/2009 1:15 pm

Why is there a picture of Matisyahu accompanying this article?

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TuxKamen on 01/24/2009 2:02 pm

I call a case of life imitating art. What do I mean? Well, in Signs, Mr. Phoenix here played Mel Gibson, the ex-priest's, brother. When Scary Movie 3 came out (featuring a parody of Signs), Simon Rex played the part of the ex-priest's brother (the priest this time played by Charlie Sheen). In one of the subplots, the brother was trying to be a rapper (which led to a parody of Eight Mile).

Priest's brother into rapper. Now, we just have to watch out for hordes of little Ring girls like I saw in the alternate ending...

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Flashman on 01/24/2009 4:20 pm

ruddy hell Hacksaw Jim lost a few pounds

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El Sammo on 01/24/2009 4:33 pm

Kilgore....Don't you EVER put Animal in a group with those other doushes.

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Mister Tea on 01/24/2009 8:31 pm

Wait, are we talking "Jim Henson" Animal or "WWF" Animal?


MrSteve (Guest) on 01/24/2009 11:48 pm

Flashman I'm guessin, just guessin, you mean hillbilly Jim?

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Autrach Sejanoz on 01/25/2009 7:21 pm

Flashman is referring to "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, of WWF/E fame.

But I have to say, MrSteve, now that you mention it, Joaquin DOES kinda look like Hillbilly Jim these days.

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Flashman on 01/26/2009 4:19 pm

your right he does look more like hillbilly Jim

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Protoclown on 01/26/2009 11:38 pm

If this whole thing is a joke, then it will be one of the most AWESOME JOKES EVER. I really hope it is.

And for those of you who think rap/hip-hop is all a bunch of stupid lyrics about guns, bitches, and cars, here is a list of rappers that don't suck:

Aesop Rock, Sage Francis, MF Doom (all incarnations), Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Lyrics Born, Public Enemy, Atmosphere, Grayskul, Jurassic 5, Saul Williams, The Streets, Buck 65, Beastie Boys...

I could go on, but I'll leave it there for now. Listen to any of those, and then just try to come back and tell me it's boring, repetitive, or that the lyrics are stupid.


ThreeDucks (Guest) on 01/27/2009 10:11 am

There's a lot of good modern, underground rappers as well, even though a lot of the more mainstream stuff is not so good. Leif, The Cool Kids, Spank Rock, Playdo, Plastic Little, Kid Sister, Afrikan Boy, Marvellous Mac Mello, Old Money....all great stuff.


Josh (Guest) on 01/27/2009 10:31 pm

ahahahahahahha! Wow! Johnny Cash just became a little too urban!


guydude (Guest) on 01/28/2009 5:56 pm

Easily Protoclown. MF Doom (any incarnation) is so terrible as to be comical, it seems he skips lyrics that make sense to squeeze out another terrible rhyme. Mos Def is pretentious and bad. Beastie Boys? They are most certainly repetative, and the lyrics are undoubtably stupid (intergalatic planetary, sabotage, etc.) Not that the songs themselves are bad, but bad example of a rap group who's lyrics aren't repetative or stupid. Jurassic 5 I will give you as being very good.

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Autrach Sejanoz on 01/28/2009 8:55 pm

Not too long ago, a friend of Joaquin said that this whole "rap career" thing is a hoax, and he's acting the way he is for an art-house movie project.

HOWEVER, his rep is still insisting that it's all real.

So, who knows.


MrSteve (Guest) on 01/29/2009 4:53 am

Yeah in our local Street rag/commuter paper they were saying the same thing, Hillbilly Jim Commodus is playing us all!


ShadowMan (Guest) on 01/29/2009 3:15 pm

No, he's going for the rapist paedophile look. Check out Jon Lajoie on youtube and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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Rufus the Perturbed on 01/30/2009 12:34 am

Joaquin Phoenix doing rap? Three words: What. The. Fuck.

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Jony B. Good on 01/30/2009 1:43 am

Sampling is to music as collaging is to painting. NOT an art.

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Mister Tea on 01/30/2009 1:29 pm

To be perfectly honest, I liked rap a long time ago; back when I didn't have to take it seriously. Once this shit happened, I was through:

Me: What's with the giant clock and the grasshopper sunglasses? Really, if this guy expects "the Power" to be worried about him, he's gonna have to look a lot less stupid than that.

Pretentious Music Snob: Stop laughing at once! These are talented, soulful artists representing the pains and tribulations of inner-city life!

Me: Uh, okay. So where do the diamond-studded teeth, rows of luxury cars and the ass-shaking hookers fit into your "impoverished urban wasteland" thing?

Pretentious Music Snob: I don't have to explain myself to you! Your barbaric tastes in music just can't appreciate the artistry of these talented, artistic artists who make art!

Me: > Okay, I guess you win...

And don't even try to give me that "well, you like classic rock!" horse shit. Classic Rock is "classic" because it refuses to redefine itself and doesn't care about what's relevant. Sure, rap might be popular now, but so were Gary Numan and the Human League. Who, you ask? That's exactly my point.

There's also the part about "actually playing real instruments" that I'll always have on my side. Do I think the turntable is a real instrument? Fuck no. Scratch on that thing all you like to try proving me wrong, but you're still just making noise.


Uchuu (Guest) on 02/01/2009 8:56 am

He looks like a homeless on the foto, i think this is just a trip to another world for him...

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Captain PirateFace on 02/02/2009 4:02 pm

I like Jared Leto's band better than his acting. I enjoyed his savage beatdown in "Fight Club" and his murder in "American Psycho"...."Hey Paul!...THWACK!

Michael Pitt's Band= Shite (so much better at acting then singing)
Jason Schwartsmen (is that how it spelled?) his band "Coconut Records" is Damn Good.
Steve from "Blues Clues" has awesome Indi-rock.
Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp = Awesome actors, any band they attempt to be in....I just swallowed my own vomit.
Hulk Hogan's Album = Fucking Classic!

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Protoclown on 02/02/2009 6:46 pm

Haha, no way, guydude, MF Doom's delivery is the best part! I fucking LOVE it. So fun to listen to.

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0dd1 on 02/05/2009 9:12 am

I would have to say William Shatner's turn to music was either a titanic tragedy or the greatest thing on Earth. Take your pick.

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MikeeTeevee on 02/10/2009 11:00 am

Mister Tea, you're really making me laugh. Not because you said anything funny, but because like you, I too have a musical-luddite stance. I'm cowering in the corner with the classic rockers and you. Those staunch classic rockers, refusing to redefine themselves. We don't have to redefine ourselves. Our instruments don't make the sort of noise a turntable does. Ours is something meaningful. A divine sound only heard by smiling children. Sure you could argue that all a guitar consist of is a piece of wood with strings on, but I'm an art-nazi as well Mister Tea! I mean, a turntable is capable of more pitch definition than say, a kick drum, but any sounds made from it are NOSIY THEFT. I'm shutting my eyes to three decades of music. Only popping out of my classic rockers corner quickly to laugh at Flava Flav. That'll teach you Rap, circa 1985! I'm a musical creationist who thinks Jesus gave us the Fender and that tribesman banging animal skins over makeshift drums is the talk of SCIENTISTS. I forget the fact rap has been a stable music genre spanning millions of redcords sold, but I'm still frightened. Still frightened in my corner. Because rap isn't going away. If I close my ears, maybe it will disappear. What's that? Rap has been about for 30 years? 30 years of fad, I say. Pass like a fart in the wind.

That's why you are making me laugh. Two words for you: Zach De La Fucking Rocha.


Wolfgang Drakkar (Guest) on 02/13/2009 3:24 am

I don't really have much to say concerning Joaquin, as far as I'm concerned my only awareness of him prior to all this is that he's related to River Phoenix so therefore I'm not really affected by him making a fool of himself/making a mockumentary.

However, so far as this discussion on rap goes I have this to say: I'm a metalhead and have zero affection for rap but I too am constantly hounded by accusations of musical incompetence and lyrical shallowness.

I could try to give these people shining examples of instrumental brilliance and poetic, meaningful lyrics such as the later albums by Death but their prejudice would never allow them to overlook Chuck Schuldiner's vocal style. Therefore I have a live and let live policy concerning other forms of music that I don't personally believe take much talent or effort to create.

My apologies to get all musically philosophical on what is for all intents and purposes a humor website but I just felt like I perhaps had something relevant and meaningful to add to the stew in this case. :-p

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Supafly345 on 07/23/2009 4:30 pm

Its performance art. His whole goofy attitude lately is an act that he's filming apparently for some artfag project.

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