Disney Channel’s original movie Let It Shine premiered on June 15, 2012, but it seriously feels like just yesterday.
The epic movie — which was about an aspiring rapper that won a songwriting contest, but let his best friend take credit for the tune — starred Tyler James Williams, Coco Jones, Trevor Jackson and Brandon Mychal Smith, and it’s safe to say that it was a TOTAL classic.
“I remember when people called me crazy for doing this movie & taking it seriously. Crazy to try to introduce battle rap to kids via Disney,” Tyler shared on Twitter in April 2020, alongside a clip from the movie’s final scene.
At the time, a fan shared the video alongside the caption, “Let’s not forget this iconic rap battle in Let It Shine.” Fans will remember that during this particular moment of the film, Tyler’s character, Cyrus, gets involved in a major rap battle after it was revealed that he actually wrote the song that made his best friend famous.
The actor concluded his Twitter post, writing, “Learned to trust that crazy feeling. I’ve never regretted it. Take the risk.”
When the movie premiered, Tyler chatted with Teen Vogue about his role.
“I play the role of Cyrus, who is an extremely talented musician and songwriter. No one has ever told him that he’s good, so he isn’t confident in his talent,” the Everybody Hates Chris alum said in 2012. “He writes a song for a rap contest to try to get the girl that he’s loved since he was in kindergarten. He takes a journey to figure out who he is and has to stand up for his own actions.”
At the time, Tyler even revealed that “Light’s Up” was his favorite song from the film. “It’s the first song that you’ll hear in the movie,” he said at the time, noting that the music throughout the flick is “gospel meets hip hop.”
Following his stint on Disney Channel, the actor went on to nab some pretty major roles. And he’s not the only Let It Shine actor that’s made a name for themselves over the years. Take a walk down memory lane and scroll through our gallery to see what the stars of Let It Shine are up to now.
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