Epps began his professional career by joining the Def Comedy Jam tour in 1995 and starred in two of HBO’s Def Comedy Jam broadcasts. He later appeared in Vin Diesel’s directorial debut, Strays in 1997.
In 1999, Epps was then cast as Ice Cube’s co-star (effectively, Chris Tucker’s replacement) in the sequel, Next Friday. This came after weeks of auditions after Ice Cube attended a stand-up set Epps did, and then asked Epps to try out for the part of Day-Day Jones. His role as Day-Day Jones was a breakthrough for the new actor, who was already familiar to much of the audience from his stand-up work. Later that year, Epps had a cameo in 3 Strikes, and supported Jamie Foxx in Bait.
Epps had a voice role in the 2001 movie Dr. Dolittle 2 as Sonny, and finished the year with a featured role as comical pimp Baby Powder in How High, starring Method Man and Redman. Epps reunited with Ice Cube in 2002 as the bumbling thief to Ice Cube’s bounty hunter in All About the Benjamins, and again re-teamed with Cube in the continuing Friday saga’s latest entry Friday After Next.
Epps also got to voice another bear character (Boog) in the 2008 film Open Season 2 after Martin Lawrence declined the role. In 2010, Epps also released a stand-up comedy special, Under Rated & Never Faded and hosted the 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Epps’ name has become synonymous with a particular style of humor, through his appearance with several other African-American artists in the same genre. Aside from featuring Cube, the common thread of these films was the hilarious prominence of marijuana-smoking comic characters, like the ones portrayed by Epps.
Mike Epps is an American stand-up comedian, actor, film producer, writer, singer, and rapper, best known for playing Day-Day Jones in Next Friday and the sequel-to-the-sequel, Friday After Next, and also starring alongside Ice Cube in All About the Benjamins.
As of 2010, Epps was the executive producer on a documentary about the life story of a former member of Tupac Shakur’s Outlawz, Napoleon: Life of an Outlaw.
Epps was born Michael Elliot Epps in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 18, 1970 into a large family.
Epps’ natural comedic ability was encouraged at an early age, and he began performing stand-up as a teenager. Epps moved to Atlanta where he worked at the Comedy Act Theater, before moving to New York City to star in Def Comedy Jam in 1995. Epps ended up on the Def Comedy Jam tour and starred in two of HBO’s Def Comedy Jam broadcasts.
Epps recently had a small part in the song A Bay Bay by Hurricane Chris, doing the Rick James move. He also hosted a Jim Jones and Skull Gang album entitled Jim Jones & Skull Gang Present A Tribute To Bad Santa Starring Mike Epps. Epps has also made a song called Trying To Be a Gangsta with Pooh Bear.
Epps also has a song called Big Girls, which came out in 2008. It was originally recorded by Bow Wow, and featuring Yung Joc. The song is currently on iTunes and can be found on his album, Funny Bidness – Da Album, which was released October 27, 2009. Epps also has featured in rapper French Montana’s ‘Mac Wit Da Cheese’ mixtape which was released April 19, 2009.
Epps is also featured on the Dom Kennedy song “Intro/Hard Work” on his Best After Bobby mixtape.
Epps sings the chorus of “I’m On Everything” alongside Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″ as Bad Meets Evil on the EP Hell: The Sequel.