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The Real Names of Famous Rappers

List RulesVote up the rappers who have your favorite stage names

Update: Dive into the best new hip hop with our list of 2020's top rap songs.

This list of the real names of rappers 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 and give themselves unique rapper names. Some rappers have even changed their name multiple times.

Who is the most famous rapper that uses a stage name? Jay Z has to be at the top of the 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?!

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  • Video: YouTube
    O'Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper, actor, producer, director and writer. Ice Cube initially gained recognition in 1984 as a member of the hip hop group C.I.A., which gained limited commercial success prior to disbanding three years later. Ice Cube, alongside Dr. Dre and Eazy E, then formed the group N.W.A, where he gained extreme notoriety as the group's primary songwriter and performer, noted for becoming one of the founding artists of gangsta rap, and pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music, as well as visual imagery in music videos.After leaving N.W.A in December 1989, Ice Cube embarked on a  ...more
    • Albums: AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate, Lethal Injection, Laugh Now
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap
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  • Video: YouTube
    André Lauren Benjamin (born May 27, 1975), better known by his stage name André 3000 (formerly Dre), is an American musician and actor best known for being part of hip hop duo Outkast alongside fellow rapper Big Boi. As an actor, Benjamin has made appearances in a number of TV series and films, including Families, The Shield, Be Cool, Revolver, Semi-Pro, Four Brothers, and the lead role of Jimi Hendrix in All Is by My Side. In addition to music and acting, Benjamin has also been an entrepreneur. In the spring of 2008, he launched a clothing line called Benjamin Bixby. He has also been an advocate for animal rights. He is also known for his work on the Cartoon Network animated series Class  ...more
    • Albums: Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing, The Sleazy Remix
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music, Electronic music, Rhythm and blues
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    The Best Songs Feat. Andre 3000#2 of 215 List of Famous Bands from Atlanta#2 of 178 The Best Rappers From Atlanta

  • Video: YouTube
    Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, and was previously co-owner of Death Row Records. Dr. Dre began his career as a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru and found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A, which popularized explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life. He is credited as a key figure in the crafting and popularization of West Coast G-funk, a hip hop subgenre characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats. As of 2018, he is the third richest figure in hip hop, with a  ...more
    • Albums: The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride, California Love, The Chronicle: The Best of the Works...
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap, G-funk, West Coast hip hop
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  • Video: YouTube
    Warren Griffin III (born November 10, 1970), known by his stage name Warren G, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and DJ, known as one of the pioneers of West Coast hip hop. Griffin's career began in the early 1990s as part of the California hip-hop trio 213 alongside Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg, but he is best known for his work as a solo artist, most notably for his hit single "Regulate" featuring Nate Dogg, as well as his first two studio albums, Take a Look Over Your Shoulder and Regulate...G Funk Era, which are certified gold and triple platinum respectively by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Warren Griffin III was born on November 10, 1970 in Long  ...more
    • Albums: Regulate... G Funk Era (Special Edition), Prince Igor (feat. Warren G & Sissel), I Want It All, In the Mid-Nite Hour, The Return of the Regulator
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Gangsta rap, G-funk, Contemporary R&B, West Coast hip hop
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