The Real Names of 100 Rappers

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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.
Collection Photo:  Eric Weiss
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  1. Jay-Z - born Shawn Corey Carte... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Real Names of 100 Rappers
    Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock
    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, + 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, + more
    • Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America
  2. P. Diddy - born Sean Combs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Real Names of 100 Rappers
    Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock
    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, + more
    • Albums: No Way Out, The Saga Continues, We Invented The Remix, Come With Me, Press Play, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Atlantic Records, Universal Records, Warner Music Group, Violator, Interscope Records, + more
    • Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America
  3. Dr. Dre - born Andre Romelle Y... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Real Names of 100 Rappers
    Photo: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock
    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..., + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Aftermath Entertainment, Priority Records, Epic Records, Death Row Records, Interscope Records, + more
    • Career Began: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
  4. Master P - born Percy Robert M... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Real Names of 100 Rappers
    Photo: Readysetgo86/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
    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, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Universal Records, Guttar Music Entertainment, SOLAR Records, No Limit Forever Records, Priority Records, + more
    • Career Began: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
  5. 50 Cent - born Curtis James Ja... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Real Names of 100 Rappers
    Photo: Soletron/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0
    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, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Ill Flava Records, Aftermath Entertainment, Violator, Interscope Records, Shady Records, + more
    • Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America
  6. Birdman - born Bryan Williams is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Real Names of 100 Rappers
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA
    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$$, + 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
  7. The Notorious B.I.G. - born Ch... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Real Names of 100 Rappers
    Photo: The Come Up Show/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    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, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Atlantic Records, Uptown Records, Bad Boy Records
  8. Eminem - born Marshall Bruce M... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Real Names of 100 Rappers
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY
    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, + more
    • Albums: The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show, Infinite, Recovery, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Aftermath Entertainment, Web Entertainment, Game Recordings, Mashin' Duck Records, Rawkus Records, + more
    • Career Began: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America
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