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The Real Names of Famous Rappers

Updated September 2, 2021 495 votes 32 voters 545.3k views166 items

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
    Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), known professionally as 50 Cent, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, television producer, entrepreneur and investor. Born in the South Jamaica neighborhood of the borough of Queens, Jackson began selling drugs at age twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. He later began pursuing a musical career and in 2000 he produced Power of the Dollar for Columbia Records, but days before the planned release he was shot and the album was never released. In 2002, after Jackson released the compilation album Guess Who's Back?, he was discovered by Eminem and signed to Shady Records, under the aegis of Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment and...  more
    • Albums: Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal, Power of the Dollar, Before I Self Destruct
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Gangsta rap
    • Nationality: United States of America
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  • Video: YouTube
    Trevor George Smith Jr. (born May 20, 1972), known professionally as Busta Rhymes, is an American rapper, singer, musician, record producer, record executive, and actor. Chuck D of Public Enemy gave him the moniker Busta Rhymes, after NFL and CFL wide receiver George "Buster" Rhymes. He is best known for his outlandish style and fashion sense depicted in several innovative Hip hop music videos as well as his intricate rhyming technique, rapping at high speed with heavy use of internal rhyme and half rhyme making him one of the fastest rappers of all time. He has received 11 Grammy Award nominations for his work. About.com included him on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time...  more
    • Albums: When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming, Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front, C'Mon (Catch 'em by Surprise)
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Ragga, Dancehall, Hardcore hip hop, Pop music
    • Nationality: United States of America
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    The Best Songs Feat. Busta Rhymes#19 of 238 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time#778 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • 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
    • Nationality: United States of America
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    Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; often stylized as EMINƎM), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, film producer, and actor. He is consistently cited as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time and was labeled the "King of Hip Hop" by Rolling Stone magazine. In addition to his solo career, Eminem was a member of the hip hop group D12. He is also known for his collaborations with fellow Detroit-based rapper Royce da 5'9"; the two are collectively known as Bad Meets Evil. After his debut album Infinite (1996) and the extended play Slim Shady EP (1997), Eminem signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath...  more
    • Albums: The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show, Infinite, Recovery
    • Genres (Music): Hip hop
    • Nationality: United States of America
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