Utkarsh Ambudkar, The Oscars Rapper Who Is Not Eminem, Is A Name To Know

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
The Oscars is balancing out its decision to bring back rappers like Eminem for absolutely no reason by also introducing you to stars it's about time the world got to know. Rapper Utkarsh Ambudkar came on shortly after the surprise "Lose Yourself" performance to give his own rap, deftly freestyling a recap of the night's events. The artist and actor has his roots in freestyle rap, joining Lin Manuel Miranda's improv-rap troupe "Freestyle Love Supreme" shortly after his graduation from New York University. He then joined the troupe on Broadway in 2019. In between, he's had quite a story.
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Ambudkar was originally supposed to play Aaron Burr in Miranda's Hamilton, but the part was given to Leslie Odom Jr. (to Tony acclaim) as Ambudkar focused on getting sober. In the past few years, he's appeared in Pitch Perfect, Barbershop: The Next Cut, The Mindy Project, White Famous, and recently played the love interest in Brittany Runs a Marathon. In 2019 alone, he released two albums, Vanity and Petty, as well as EP Members Only under rap moniker is UTK the INC.
“It’s weird when I’m rapping under the guise of entertainment, but what I’m really doing is just unmasking and being really raw,” he told the New York Times in a recent profile. “I’ve been doing this 15 years, but in those moments I think, ‘I seek out new experiences, and I’m about to have one.’”
On stage at the Oscars, Ambudkar poked fun at the fact that, despite his many credits, the audience was likely totally unaware of who he is. However, he has a number of projects coming up to shoot himself into permanent stardom, including Ryan Reynolds film Free Guy and new upcoming J. Lo feature, Marry Me.
Check out his full Oscars performance below.
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