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The Real Names of 100 Rappers

This list of the real names of rappers, loosely ranked by fame and popularity, will inform and enlighten you, because who even knew some of the best rappers in history used a stage name? "Snoop" wasn't his mother's idea? Get out. Kanye West and Wyclef Jean use their given name to record their music, but most rappers use a stage name. Some rappers use nicknames that they have had their whole life, while other MCs create an entirely new persona. Some rappers have even changed their name multiple times.

Who is the most famous rapper that uses a stage name? Jay Z tops our list. Jay Z was born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969. He has had such hit songs as "Empire State of Mind" and "99 Problems." He was known as “Jazzy” growing up and eventually that merged into Jay Z. 50 Cent was born Curtis James Jackson III on July 6, 1975. He has released such songs as "In da Club" and "Candy Shop."

A couple of famous rappers have gone by multiple stage names. Snoop Dogg was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. on October 20, 1971. He has released such songs as "Drop It Like It's Hot" and "Gin and Juice." After a recent trip to Jamaica, Snoop changed his name to Snoop Lion. P. Diddy was born Sean Combs on November 4, 1969. He has had such hit singles as "Bad Boy for Life" and "Last Night." He has also been known as Puff Daddy and Diddy.

Would you use a stage name if you were a rapper? Would it be something bada** or something fun and really crazy?! Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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    Jay Z was born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969. He has had such hit songs as "Empire State of Mind" and "99 Problems."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, Mafioso rap
    • Albums: Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life + 122 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Atlantic Records, Def Jam Recordings, The Island Def Jam Music Group, Universal Music Group, Roc-A-Fella Records + 1 more
    • Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America
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    P. Diddy was born Sean Combs on November 4, 1969. He has had such hit singles as "Bad Boy for Life" and "Last Night."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Synthpop, Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B + 3 more
    • Albums: No Way Out, The Saga Continues, We Invented The Remix, Come With Me, Press Play + 33 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Atlantic Records, Universal Records, Warner Music Group, Violator, Interscope Records + 3 more
    • Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America
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    Dr. Dre was born Andre Romelle Young on February 18, 1965. He has released such hit singles as "Still D.R.E." and "Nuthin' But a G Thang."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap, G-funk, West Coast hip hop
    • Albums: The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride, California Love, The Chronicle: The Best of the Works... + 49 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Aftermath Entertainment, Priority Records, Epic Records, Death Row Records, Interscope Records + 1 more
    • Career Began: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
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    Master P was born Percy Robert Miller on April 29, 1970. He has released such hit singles as "Pass Me Da Green" and "Crazy 'Bout Ya."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Gangsta rap, Southern hip hop
    • Albums: Ghetto D (bonus disc), MP Da Last Don, Make Em Say Uhh!, Only God Can Judge Me, Ghetto Postage + 26 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Universal Records, Guttar Music Entertainment, SOLAR Records, No Limit Forever Records, Priority Records + 3 more
    • Career Began: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
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    50 Cent was born Curtis James Jackson III on July 6, 1975. He has released such songs as "In da Club" and "Candy Shop."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Gangsta rap
    • Albums: Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal, Power of the Dollar, Before I Self Destruct + 100 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Ill Flava Records, Aftermath Entertainment, Violator, Interscope Records, Shady Records + 3 more
    • Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America
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    Birdman was born Bryan Williams on February 15, 1969. He has released such songs as "Fire Flame" and "Money to Blow."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Gangsta rap, Hyphy, Southern hip hop
    • Albums: Birdman, Fast Money, Like Father, Like Son, Pricele$$ + 23 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Universal Republic Records, Cash Money Records, Universal Motown Records, Republic Records
    • Career Began: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
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    The Notorious B.I.G. was born Christopher George Latore Wallace on May 21, 1972. He released such songs as "Big Poppa" and "Hypnotize."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, Mafioso rap
    • Albums: Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again, Duets: The Final Chapter, Greatest Hits + 20 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Atlantic Records, Uptown Records, Bad Boy Records
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    Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972. He has released such songs as "Berzerk" and "Without Me."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop, Detroit hip hop, Gangsta rap + 1 more
    • Albums: The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show, Infinite, Recovery + 87 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Aftermath Entertainment, Web Entertainment, Game Recordings, Mashin' Duck Records, Rawkus Records + 3 more
    • Career Began: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America
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    Lil Wayne was born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr on September 27, 1982. He released such songs as "Lollipop" and "A Milli."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Ragga, Hardcore hip hop, Pop music, Rock music + 7 more
    • Albums: Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter, Tha Carter IV, I Am Not a Human Being + 134 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Universal Records, Bad Boy South, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, Universal Motown Records
    • Career Began: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
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    Snoop Dogg was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. on October 20, 1971. He has released such songs as "Drop It Like It's Hot" and "Gin and Juice."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Pop music, Gangsta rap, G-funk, Reggae + 4 more
    • Albums: Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal, Snoop Dogg Presents Christmas in tha Dogg House, Welcome To The Dogg House + 132 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Atlantic Records, TVT Records, Priority Records, Geffen Records, EMI + 9 more
    • Career Began: Eastside, Long Beach, California, United States of America
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    Ice Cube was born O'Shea Jackson on June 15, 1969. He has released such songs as "We Be Clubbin'" and "It Was a Good Day."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap + 4 more
    • Albums: AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate, Lethal Injection, Laugh Now + 51 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Lench Mob Records, Priority Records, EMI, Ruthless Records, Virgin Records + 1 more
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    Timbaland was born Timothy Zachery Mosley on March 10, 1972. He has released such songs as "The Way I Are" and "Carry Out."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Rap music, Alternative hip hop, Hip Pop R&B, Synthpop + 14 more
    • Albums: Shock Value, Tim's Bio: Life from da Bassment, Shock Value II, Here We Come, Morning After Dark + 18 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Blackground Records, Mosley Music Group, Interscope Records, Roc Nation
    • Career Began: Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States of America
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    Akon was born Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam on April 16, 1973. He has released such songs as "Right Now" and "Lonely."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Popular music, Pop music, Dance-pop, Reggae + 6 more
    • Albums: Konvicted, Trouble, Mama Africa, Freedom, Gunshot (Fiesta Riddim) + 46 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Universal Motown Republic Group, Konvict Muzik, UpFront Records, SRC Records, KonLive Distribution
    • Career Began: Dakar, Senegal
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    Will.i.am was born William James Adams on March 15, 1975. He has released such songs as "Scream & Shout" and "Bang Bang."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music, Electro, Electro hop + 10 more
    • Albums: willpower, Must B 21, Songs About Girls, Lost Change, Forever + 28 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: will.i.am Music Group, Atlantic Records, Geffen Records, Barely Breaking Even, Warner Sunset Records + 5 more
    • Career Began: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
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    Ad-Rock was born Adam Keefe Horovitz on October 31, 1966. With his band the Beastie Boys, he has released such songs as "Sabotage" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rap rock, Rapcore, Alternative rock + 2 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Def Jam Recordings, Grand Royal, Capitol Records
    • Career Began: Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America
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    Mike D was born Michael Diamond on November 20, 1965. With the Beastie Boys, he released such songs as "Intergalactic" and "Fight for Your Right."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rap rock, Rapcore, Alternative rock + 2 more
    • Albums: Country Mike's Greatest Hits
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Def Jam Recordings, Grand Royal, Capitol Records
    • Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America
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    MCA was born Adam Nathaniel Yauch on August 5, 1964. With the Beastie Boys, he released such songs as "Brass Monkey" and "Paul Revere."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rap rock, Rapcore, Alternative rock + 3 more
    • Albums: Drum Machine
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Def Jam Recordings, Grand Royal, Capitol Records
    • Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America
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    Ludacris was born Christopher Brian Bridges on September 11, 1977. He has released such songs as "Move Bitch" and "Roll Out."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Atlanta hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap, Pop rap + 3 more
    • Albums: Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time, The Red Light District, Rest of My Life + 51 more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Disturbing tha Peace, Def Jam South, Def Jam Recordings
    • Career Began: Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
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    Rev Run was born Joseph Ward Simmons on November 14, 1964. With Run D.M.C., he released such songs as "My Adidas" and "It's Tricky."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Rap rock, Rapcore
    • Albums: Distortion
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America
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    D.M.C. was born Darryl Matthews McDaniels on May 31, 1964. With Run D.M.C., he released such songs as "Christmas in Hollis" and "King of Rock."

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Rap rock
    • Albums: Checks Thugs and Rock n Roll, Corrected
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Career Began: Hollis, New York City, New York, United States of America
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