Adrien Brody: Oscar-Winning Rapper?

03/27/2003 at 01:00 PM EST

Eminem wasn't the only rapper who scored an Oscar Sunday night. Queens, N.Y., native Adrien Brody, who picked up the Best Actor trophy for his role as a Jewish musician who eluded the Nazis in Roman Polanski's "The Pianist," is as serious about his music career as his acting, reports The New York Post.

The actor, 29, who also is the youngest recipient of the Best Actor prize in Oscar history, has been moonlighting for years as a hip-hop producer called A. Ranger.

Rap luminaries like Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs and Jay-Z says he's pretty good too, reports the Post. In 1998, Brody cut a track called "This Ain't A Movie," for the soundtrack to his indie film "Restaurant."

Pals say Brody is so devoted to his music that he carted his keyboard all over Europe during the filming of his Oscar-winning performance. Brody used the keyboard to learn the Chopin pieces he mimics in "The Pianist," as well as to create some new compositions of his own.

"Adrien was really affected by the movie, so (the music he made is) interesting, dark, gloomy stuff," says DJ Stretch Armstrong, a friend of Brody's who compared the actor's music to the trip-hop sounds of Britain's Portishead and Tricky.

Another music-scene pal, New York DJ Sky Nellor (a former Brody girlfriend), opined: "He'd love to use his new power to work on the music for his movies."

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