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Joaquin Phoenix's rap career: To believe or not to believe?

By now you’ve probably heard about (if not seen clips of) Joaquin Phoenix’s rap performance in Las Vegas over the weekend. The would-be rapper performed three songs from his upcoming album (said to be produced by Diddy), spitting a series of stilted, robotic rhymes while rocking a beard thick enough to shelter a family of opossum. When Phoenix first announced he was giving up acting for a life in hip-hop, we all thought he was nuts. Then, when videos of him actually rapping first circulated some weeks back, we started to think it had to be a put-on . And now, after this latest performance, coupled with the announcement that Casey Affleck is shooting a documentary about the entire experience, we’re starting to wonder this whole thing is just a rather unfunny Andy Kaufman-esque stunt that will end with the release of an Affleck mockumentary. Phoenix has shown a penchant for messing with people before, like the time he told a reporter on the red carpet that he felt like there was a frog coming out of his head. And why would Affleck make a documentary about Phoenix’s transition to rapping, seeing as he only just announced that he is now a rapper, so there’s little story to document? Here at EW, we’re as puzzled as you are about this whole thing. But if that spectacle on display over the weekend, which at one point included a disheveled Phoenix falling off the stage, is a serious attempt at a new career, then the one-time Oscar nominee has us seriously puzzled.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Can this be real? Do you see any redeeming value in it as a hip-hop performance? Would you be into an Affleck mockumentary about this insanity, should that be what it’s actually about?

More on Joaquin Phoenix:
Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career the subject of debate (and a Casey Affleck-directed documentary)
Joaquin Phoenix wants to be a singer? We’ve got the perfect lead single for him!
Joaquin Phoenix: His most memorable roles

Originally posted January 20 2009 — 10:29 PM EST

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