Music

The Best Rapper Stage Name Origin Stories 

Autumn Nailes
3.7k votes 752 voters 32.5k views 23 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite rapper name origin stories

Ever wonder why your favorite rappers are called the names that they're called? Clearly, rapper names like Waka Flocka Flame and Fetty Wap were not given to these people at birth, so why is it that they go by them? While some musical artists choose to go by their birth names during their rise to stardom, many use their fame to forge a new identity under a stage name. 

Some of these names come from their birth names and nicknames, others pay tribute to people that the artists hold dear, while others are used as a source of empowerment (whether it be empowerment for the actual rapper or for the rapper's fans). No matter the rapper stage name, all of them have an origin story.

This is a list of rappers with the most interesting stage names and the stories behind why they picked these names. From rap legends like Biggie and Pac to more contemporary artists like 2 Chainz and The Weeknd, now is your chance to find out what's really in a name. You love their music, you can rattle off the lyrics to your favorite songs as easily as you can recall your name, and you know everything about them. But now's your chance to find out the reason behind why they picked their stage names.

Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Rapper Stage Name Origin Stories
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/CC-BY
In the '70s, Snoop Dogg (born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.) grew up watching Charlie Brown. Snoop's favorite character on the show was Snoopy, and his mom told him that he started to look like Snoopy because he watched the show so much.
Is this a good origin story?

More Snoop Dogg 

#441 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time #218 of 770 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasuresfeaturing The Best Songs on Snoop Dogg's Album 'I Wanna Thank Me'

Tupac is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Rapper Stage Name Origin Stories
Photo:  YouTube
2

Tupac was born with the name Lesane Crooks, but his mother, who was a Black Panther activist, renamed him Tupac before he turned one. The name came from Tupac Amaru II, an 18th century Incan Revolutionary who led an uprising against Spanish colonizers in Peru. 


 
Is this a good origin story?
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Rapper Stage Name Origin Stories
Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock
3

Initially, Eminem called himself M&M, which are his initials (Marshal Matthers). Later on, he changed it to Eminem.

Is this a good origin story?

More Eminem 

#133 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #229 of 282 The Best (Male) Actors Working Todayfeaturing Turns Out, Eminem Has Multiple Daughters And They're All Grown Up

The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Rapper Stage Name Origin Stories
Photo: The Come Up Show/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
Christopher Wallace picked his rap moniker as an homage to Calvin Lockhart's character, Biggie Smalls, in the 1975 film Let's Do it Again. Growing up, Biggie was his nickname because of how much he loved this character. When he was signed, he found out that another rapper already went by the name Biggie Smalls, so he changed his name to The Notorious B.I.G, while still referring to himself as Biggie Smalls in the lyrics of his songs. 

Is this a good origin story?

More The Notorious B.I.G. 

#238 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #444 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singersfeaturing A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous Feud