Lil Duval was an American actor, comedian and rapper who was best known for his appearances in comedy films like "Meet the Blacks" (2016), "Grow House" (2017), and "The Trap" (2019). Duval, whose birth name was Roland Powell, was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up during the hip-hop boom of the 1990s, when stars like the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur were dominating the airwaves. The young Roland Powell had a deep love of Tupac's music, and hoped to one day be making hip-hop albums of his own. But first, he fell in love with comedy. After graduating from high school, Powell moved to Atlanta, Georgia to jumpstart his standup comedy career. He chose the stage name Lil Duval to pay homage to his hometown of Duval County, Florida. By the late 90s and early 2000s Duval was a regular performer in Atlanta's various comedy clubs, and started to develop a following. He eventually caught the attention of powerhouse comedian Cedric the Entertainer's road manager, who invited Duval to perform alongside Cedric and various other comedians on a comedy tour sponsored by Budweiser. Duval jumped at the opportunity, and over the course of the tour, he was able to broaden his appeal beyond Atlanta's comedy clubs. Before long Duval was releasing independently produced comedy-themed DVDs, which further grew his adoring fanbase. Then in 2003, Duval made his debut performance on the BET standup comedy show "ComicView" (BET, 1992-2008, 2014). Duval's performance on the show was a huge hit with the audience, which allowed him to appear on the show a total of three times in the ensuing years. After his hilarious appearance on "ComicView," Duval started getting cast in movies. He made appearances in "Scary Movie 5" (2013), "School Dance" (2014), and "More Money, More Family" (2015), among others. From 2013 to 2014, Duval also began hosting the viral clips show "Ain't That America" on MTV2. However, that show only lasted for two seasons. In addition to his standup performances, TV hosting gigs, and film acting, by the mid-2010s Duval realized his long-time dream of becoming a professional hip-hop recording artist. In 2014 he released the hip-hop single "Wat Dat Mouf Do?", and four years later followed that up with the sing "Smile B**** (Living My Best Life)", which featured one of Duval's childhood idols Snoop Dogg. By the late 2010s Duval's film acting career continued moving on the upward trajectory, with roles in the comedies "Grow House," "The Trap," and "The House Next Door" (2019). In October of 2019, Duval was also hosted the prestigious BET Hip-Hop Awards. For the young boy from Jacksonville who grew up loving Tupac, Biggie and Snoop Dogg, hosting the famous awards show allowed Duval to share a stage with some of the biggest names in hip-hop as both a fan and a peer.
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