Just as he’s done with his acting career, Joaquin Phoenix seems bent on upending expectations now that he has apparently retired from acting to pursue his love of music. Determined not to follow in the footsteps of a million other screen stars from Keanu Reeves to Russell Crowe by fronting some fair-to-middling rock band, the ever-unpredictable Phoenix is set on pursuing a career in, um, hip-hop.
The whole thing first came to light when Casey "yeah, I’m his brother" Affleck made it known that he was shooting a documentary about his pal Phoenix, and would be capturing the ex-actor’s first rap outing on film for the project. Was it true? No one could be quite sure. Things came quickly into focus Friday night, when the rapper manque, sporting shades and a Devendra Banhart beard, appeared onstage at a Las Vegas nightspot and performed three songs that were apparently from his forthcoming hip-hop debut album. Phoenix told People that he loves "the storytelling aspect of hip-hop," adding "Are there people out there who think it’s a joke? I’m sure there will be….but I can’t worry about that."