Mahershala Ali Used to Be a Pretty Good Rapper

But what they may not know is that prior to movie stardom, the performer embarked on a rap career as Prince Ali.

Before he was soaking up Oscar glory and starring in films like 'Moonlight,' 'Hidden Figures,' and 'Luke Cage,' Mahershala Ali could spit some dope bars.

Yup: This Prince Ali fellow is actually Mahershala Ali, and we had no clue that the Oscar victor used to be a rapper (via Complex). But this Golden Globe winning actor is a man of many talents.

La La Land bagged the Academy Awards for best actress, director, original music score, cinematography and production design, while Moonlight took home the gold for best supporting actor and best adapted screenplay.

Under the name Prince Ali, Mahershala released a couple of records in the mid-2000s and scored a feature on Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples' album Curb Side Service.

According to his iTunes bio, Mahershala (born Mahershalalhashbaz) founded his own label Eye5 Recordings in 2006 with artists like Destruments and Pacific Sonz. And Ali's love for Hip Hop hasn't diminished in the slightest. He managed to release two albums: Corner Ensemble in 2006 and Curb Side Service in 2007.

'Hip-hop has definitely had a strong, perhaps the strongest influence on my life'. It's such an appendage for me, ' the NYU Tisch School grad told GQ in August.

  • Salvatore Jensen