Fans of The Wire will be glad to know that Tray Chaney is still active. The Forestville, Md., native, who played Malik “Poot” Carr on David Simon’s social epic, recently released a video for “Self Made Star,” in which he raps aggressively over an uptempo beat crafted by producer Don Fox. As the title signals, the track is about Chaney’s dedication to several crafts: acting and music, obviously, as well as writing (his book, The Truth You Can’t beTray, was published in 2007).

Chaney confidently attacks the intense guitars and piano keys, though the assertion that every movie he’s in deserves an Academy Award is a bit of a stretch. The video, directed by Lamar Tyler, also features Chaney actually writing his lyrics out on paper—how wonderfully old school. One thing that “Self Made Star” makes clear is that whatever the endeavor, Chaney is dead serious: “From the movies to the records/Respect it, it’s God’s gift.”