Mahershala Ali capped off an incredible awards season last night by taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, thanks to his role as Juan in Moonlight.
Ali’s win was historic, making him the first Muslim to take home an Academy Award for acting. The Oscars and Moonlight‘s subsequent win for Best Picture were the book end to a year that celebrated the raw and emotional coming-of-age story, for which Ali also won a SAG Award and earned BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.
Thanks to the success of Moonlight and Ali’s role in the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures, the 43 year-old actor is becoming one of the most recognizable men in Hollywood. Prior to the two films, Ali had already started amassing a legion of fans thanks to his roles in House of Cards, The Hunger Games and Luke Cage.
But, before Ali was cleaning up at award shows and balancing his time between multiple acting projects, he was an aspiring rapper. No surprise, he was pretty amazing.
Going by the name Prince Ali, the actor dropped a handful of music videos following his graduation from New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts.
So, to answer the question, “Is there anything Mahershala Ali can’t do?”—no.
Now we just have to wait for a possible Riz Ahmed/Mahershala Ali rap collaboration.