Joaquin Be Illin’

We’ve all seen a celebrity completely lose it, whether it’s a bald Britney Spears or Bjork beating the living shit out of a photographer.  But I really can’t remember a more interesting 180 turn than the one Joaquin Phoenix is putting the press through right now.

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Joaquin was ever perfectly normal (while promoting Walk The Line he literally asked a reporter if there was a frog in his hair), but he seemed to be in much better psychological shape than a lot of the other Hollywood weirdos.  Well, all that has changed has Mr. Phoenix has publicly stated, with a full-on Matisyahu beard no less, that he has retired from acting and is now pursuing a career in hip-hop (You can check out some of the more interesting interviews here and here).

Believe it or not, this is not complete bullshit (A video of Joaquin rapping is right here).  Whether or not this is a meltdown or an awesome prank, though, remains to be seen.  But does it really matter?  It’s all fucking hilarious nonetheless.  From the hysterically awkward Letterman interview, to the fact that he now has a camera crew headed by Casey Affleck following him around at all times, I can’t help but wonder what’s gonna happen next, and that’s probably exactly what Joaquin wants.  Because if he is serious about this, these are some of the most creative PR moves I’ve ever seen. 

But for as much as Joaquin wants to convince me he’s serious, I gotta admit that I’d love for this to be a hoax, but only if Phoenix runs with it and plays along for the next decade or so.  Think about it.  Whether the music is insanely bad or good, how fucking funny would it be if Joaquin Phoenix spent the next ten or twenty years putting out rap albums.  If they’re terrible, he can just stick to his guns and claim that music is his passion and that no one is gonna deter him from following his chosen path.  If the music is good, he can play the role of the gracious artist; performing at benefits, inspiring the masses, and accepting Grammys.  Then one day, when he walks on stage to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award, he can get behind the podium, graciously gaze at all of his colleagues and fans and say: “Wow, I can’t believe you fell for this shit.  You’re all fucking morons.”

You know, my generation has yet to have its own Andy Kaufman.  Perhaps Joaquin can fill that void.

So whatever the motivation is for your next endeavor, I wish you the best Mr. Phoenix.  You’ve gone from playing Johnny Cash to possibly being lumped in with K-Fed’s “Popozao.”  That takes some balls.       


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