We’ve got the round up on ten celebrities you may or may not know are of Jamaican descent. Whether they rep Jamaica or not, we’re proud to claim them … or not!
Keep your eyes and ears open for this young Jamaican creative, Shameik Moore, best know for his starring roll as Malcom in this summer’s hit movie “Dope.” Moore is of Jamaican descent and a triple threat. He’s an actor, singer and dancer. He started from humble beginnings as a cover singer and dancer on his YouTube channel, “Meaksworld.” Moore’s dedication, hard work and talent is paying off. His next acting gig will be as the lead character in the new ’70s themed hip-hop Netflix series, “The Get Down,” directed by Baz Lurhmann and premiering in 2016. Moore is also working on a new mixtape, crafting his sound which is said to be influenced by Reggae and R&B. He’s hoping to have a complete album out by early next year. Keep up with Shameik here.
Thank You God Always, or Tyga for short, is a Californian native who was born Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson. His parents are of Jamaican and Vietnamese decent. Mix it up rude boy.
Safaree Samuels, aka StuntMan, is the former boyfriend of Nicki Minaj and a music powerhouse himself. Samuels, a Jamaican born rapper, shunned his initial celebrity status. Most recently Samuels has embraced his swag. This week he made the news when he claimed he was in fact Minaj’s ghostwriter, something that has not gone over well with her at all. She did sound quite Jamaican over the past few years. Either way, have a listen to his mixtape, “It Is What It Is.”
What does a bassist, a general and an actress have in common? The same relation.
Peter Lewis Kingston, Pete Wentz III or just Pete Wentz, is the bassist of “Fall Out Boy.” He’s of Jamaican descent which links back to his mother’s side. His grandfather’s cousin is General Colin Powell, a well-known and powerful Jamaican, who is a retired four-star general for the United States Army and was the first African American to hold the title of U. S. Secretary of State. Popular actress and “Scandal” star, Kerry Washington, is the daughter of a professor and a real estate broker. Washington’s mother is from a “mixed-race” background orignating in Jamaica. Through her mother, she is also related to Powell. What a powerful family!
Pro Boxer and former Heavyweight Champion of The World, Mike Tyson, is of Jamaican descent. Born in New York, his biological father was a Jamaican cab driver named Purcell Tyson, although Tyson never met him. He was raised by a different man, his father, Jimmy Kirkpatrick, a North Carolinan. To get insight into Tyson’s own perspective watch “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” on Netflix. Directed by Spike Lee, it features Tyson alone on stage with compelling and funny stories reminiscing about the days of his youth, a journey through his career, up to his life today.
Weather man Al Roker was born in Queens, New York. His mother Isabel was of Jamaican descent.
Fun fact: Al Roker is related to Zoe Kravitz. Roker’s cousin from his fathers side, Roxie Roker, not of Jamaican decent, is best know as character, Helen Willis, on the 70’s classic, “The Jeffersons” who is the real-life mother of Lenny Kravitz, Zoe’s dad. Read that twice. Well, maybe three times.
Biggie, The Notorious B.I.G., was the only child of Voletta Wallace, a Jamaican preschool teacher, and Selwyn George Latore, a small-time Jamaican politician and welder. Biggie was raised by his mother and the streets of NYC.
Bobby Shmurda, best known for his creation of the “Shmoney Dance,” was born in Florida to a Jamaican father and Trinidadian mother. Shmurda and his mother moved to New York after his father became incarcerated. Since December 2014, Shmurda has been locked up himself on conspiracy to commit murder and gang related charges. His bail was set at two million dollars. The rapper got his name by putting a “sh” in front of “murda” as in murder. His reasoning is let’s say you were to in fact to commit the crime of murder, you would want everyone to stay tight lipped. You’d want to keep it on the hush. Shhhh … Ok.
That wraps up KingstontoLA’s ten Jamaican celebrities. Just like the motto, Jamaicans really are “out of many one people.”