What is the actual birth name of the rap artists you regularly bump to? I always wonder this as I’m listening, before quickly hitting up my trusty confidant, Wikipedia, for the answer.
You, like me, probably know a few rapper alter-egos just from years of them being in the spotlight: Eminem (Marshall Mathers), 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson), and Jay-Z (Sean Carter).
Others just use some altered version of their real name.
For instance, Big Sean’s name is Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, Lil’ Wayne is Dwayne Carter Jr., J. Cole is Jermaine Cole, and Drake is Aubrey Drake Graham.
Here’s are just some of the names of your mother’s favorite rapper. I bet you didn’t know half of these artists had real names after being so used to referring to them as their stage name for all these years, so go ahead and thank me for the most useful namedrop in history.
And the free boost to your useless trivia pedigree.
Future — Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn
Future may not have popped out Future, but his son sure did. And now Russell Wilson is gonna have to deal with Little Future for the rest of his life. Maybe.
Fetty Wap — Willie Maxwell II
I’m not going to lie, Fetty looks like a Willie to me. But more like a Willie Jackson. What I didn’t know, or couldn’t guess, is that he was a “II.”
Rick Ross — William Leonard Roberts II
You’re right, Rick Ross sounds a lot better when rapping over a beat. I mean, could you imagine “RAWWBURTS” instead of “RAWWSEE” at the beginning of every banger?
Snoop Dogg — Calvin Broadus Jr.
You probably knew that his last name was Broadus from the rising prominence of his son. But Calvin Broadus, Jr. just flows when you look at Snoop.
Chance the Rapper — Chancelor Bennett
If I had a name like Chancelor I would dance like that, too. Also, check homegirl in the white sweater behind him. She is so lost.
Wale — Olubuwale Victor Akintimehin
Wale’s stage name also derives from his given name, as the D.C. rapper’s parents are of Nigerian descent. What’s impressive is when he works his full name into his lyrics.
Wiz Khalifa — Cameron Jibril Thomaz
Wiz does not look like a Cameron. Like at all. Also, his son Sebastian Taylor Thomaz sounds like a name straight off the call sheet for a Home Improvement reboot.
A$AP Rocky — Rakim Mayers
A guy as chill as the leader of the A$AP mob deserves a given name equally as chill. Rakim Mayers is just that.
Props for choosing the natural path from Rakim to Rocky.
Young Thug — Jeffrey Lamar Williams
Young Thug is possibly the most basic of white girl stage names in rap music. Jeffrey Lamar Williams is a basic ass name too. I wonder how that worked out.
Meek Mill — Robert Rihmeek Williams
Wise move by Meek Mill to draw his stage name from the only interesting identity of the three. Also, creative work by flipping the ‘W’ to an ‘M’ to get the Mill part, too.
2 Chainz — Tauheed Epps
Go type ‘Tauheed Epps basketball’ into Google. Seriously. Go do it.
Nicki Minaj — Onika Tanya Maraj
Nicki was forced to change her name to Nicki Minaj for branding purposes when signing her deal back in the day. I’d say that was a fairly wise move.
T.I. — Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.
Clifford feels like it should be Pharrell’s name in this whole GIF scenario, no?
Macklemore — Ben Haggerty
Just going to leave this one here.
Travi$ Scott — Jacques Webster
Travis Scott is a normal person’s name. I’m not saying Jacques Webster isn’t, I’m just saying why go from your given name to another person’s given name?
The Weeknd — Abel Makkonen Tesfaye
Probably Abel’s exact feeling every time people bring up ILOVEMAKKONEN every time he says what his middle name is.
Kid Ink — Brian Todd Collins
I don’t care much for Kid Ink the artist, but his name is Brian, his middle name is Todd which is white as hell, and his last name is Collins. Overall, not a bad get up.
Logic — Sir Robert Bryson Hall II
Logic is a Sir?! How did I not know this? Listening to his album endless times now without pause. See you in like two weeks.