04/17/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Rapper and now actor LL Cool J, 33, hopped the promotional bandwagon for his new movie, "Kingdom Come" (opening April 11), telling PEOPLE at a New York press conference this week, "I want to be in that fraternity of actors . . . I want to be accepted by the media and others as a person that really does act and does his job." The film, based on a play "Dearly Departed," costars Vivica A. Fox and is an ensemble comedy about one family's attempt to come to terms with the death of their rather unpleasant patriarch. (The brood includes Whoopi Goldberg, who plays the long-suffering matriarch.) For LL Cool J, his role wasn't that much of a stretch. "My family is full of crazy people, including me," he told PEOPLE. "See, the cool thing about this movie to me is that you have all these black actors doing this movie, and the story is written by this white guy from Kentucky, based on his family's life. It's a universal story."