Phoenix Rises as Rapper Joaquin
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2009 6:52 PM CST
Joaquin Phoenix, left, and Casey Affleck, right, arrive at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Monday, Oct. 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – Retired actor and ex-Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix hit a Vegas stage last night in his new incarnation—as a rapper, People reports. "This is me saying this is who I am. This is my story," Phoenix said before performing at LAVO in The Palazzo. Brother-in-law Casey Affleck recorded it for a video doc about Phoenix's transition to music and his upcoming, as-yet-untitled album.

"After all the years of reading scripts and reading lines, this is my chance to do something straight from the heart and put it out there," said Phoenix, who jumped around and pumped his fist as he performed three songs for a curious crowd. "Are there people who think it's going to suck? Probably, but I can’t worry about that."