Our left coast cousin has been calling bullshit on this for months, and now Entertainment Weekly seems to agree with them: Joaquin Phoenix's supposed rap career is a total hoax.

The grumbly actor announced back in November that he was done with the acting game. He wanted to pursue a music career. Everyone assumed (or at least I did) that it would be some sort of Dogstar or Bacon Brothers-esque bar rock. But no... it was rap. Slurry, awful, heavily-bearded rap. And to add to the bizarroness of the whole thing, Phoenix's brother-in-law, actor Casey Affleck, was following him around with a video camera, getting footage for some sort of "documentary."

But now two people are telling E Dubs that it's all an Andy Kaufman-ish bugaboo. One anonymous source tells them: "[Phoenix] said, 'It's a put-on. I'm going to pretend to have a meltdown and change careers, and Casey is going to film it." A second confirms:

It's an art project for him. He's going full out. He probably has told his reps that he's quit acting. Joaquin is very smart. This is very conscious. He has a huge degree of control.

Oh good. A weird smirking art project from a self-important actor whose best work was playing a whiny lady in a sword and sandals movie. Thank ye, Art gods!

If this is all a ruse, we're curious about the endgame. Will there be a Guffman-esque, Affleck-directed mockumentary? A short-lived Showtime series? An installation exhibit at MoMA?? There's no way of telling. And that leaves us terribly vexed.