Joshua Rich
February 04, 2009 AT 06:58 AM EST

Joaquin Phoenix tells the Associated Press that his much-discussed foray into rap music is the real deal. “There’s not a hoax,” Phoenix said. “Might I be ridiculous? Might mycareer in music be laughable? Yeah, that’s possible, but that’scertainly not my intention.” The Oscar-nominated actor made headlines late last year, when he announced that he was quitting acting to focus on music. Then, when video of him performing in a Las Vegas resort circulated on the Internet in January, speculation swirled that Phoneix’s rap act was a put-on. At the time, two sources told that Phoenix had concocted an elaborate stunt. But now the entertainer demurs. “I don’t know where that comes from,” Phoenix said. “If it comes frompeople that I’ve had a falling out with, that are (ticked) off at me?”

More on Joaquin Phoenix:
Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career: An elaborate hoax?
Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career the subject of debate (and a Casey Affleck-directed documentary)
Joaquin Phoenix wants to be a singer? We’ve got the perfect lead single for him!
Joaquin Phoenix: His most memorable roles

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