The Real Names Behind 10 Famous Rappers


Let’s be honest here. We have all thought about what we would call ourselves if we ever became famous. I have spent an unhealthy amount of time thinking about my stage name, and I still haven’t settled on anything appropriate. I was thinking about, Thanksgetting Dinner, because it’s all about me, you know? I don’t want to give. I want to receive, and I want people to thank me when they give me sh-t. But I don’t know, I am having second thoughts about it now. My imaginary manager doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

Anyway, the rappers down below have the stage name game (I got that flow) figured out. Check out the list to see why most of these entertainers desperately needed the name change.




No. 10 – Lupe Fiasco

Compared to some of the stage names on this list, Lupe Fiasco doesn’t actually sound that Ludacris. Lupe’s real name is Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, so how on earth did he come up with Lupe Fiasco? Well, it’s quite simple. His mother gave him the nickname “Lu” when he was younger, the last two letters of his real first name. He then extended it to Lupe after high school. “Fiasco” is a reference to the song “Firm Fiasco” by The Firm. He apparently liked how the two words flowed together on paper.



No. 9 – Plies

What? You mean Plies isn’t his real name? No way! The 38-year-old rapper and founder of Big Gates Records was born in Fort Myers, Florida, with the name Algernod Lanier Washington. The perfect name for a politician, but it definitely doesn’t work for a professional rapper. There are a few conflicting reports surrounding the meaning behind his stage name. He was quoted as saying he got it by taking the “r” out of the word pliers.

But it appears his stage name was created in his hometown of Fort Myers. And of course, there are a number of different meanings behind it. I guess it’s just up for interpretation. You can use it however you’d like.

For example:

Today I walked to the store buy a box of cereal. When I made my way to the check out line, there was this man standing in front of me with a cart full of items. He saw me with just the one box of cereal, and said, “You can go in front of me.” He was such a plies guy.



No. 8 – 2 Chainz

He’s got two chainz and two namez. His real name is Tauheed Epps, which is actually a pretty awesome name. I can see why “Algernod” up there might want to change his name, but I think Mr. Chainz could have made it in the game with his real name. Believe it or not, before Epps became Chainz, he was actually working with the stage name, Tity Boi. He changed his stage name a few years ago to his current one because it is more family friendly.



No. 7 – Earl Sweatshirt

Earl’s real name is Thebe Neruda Kgositsile. I know it looks like my cat just walked all over the keyboard, but that is actually the real name he was given after he popped out of his mother. Earl is probably my favorite person on this list because even his stage name doesn’t like a rapper’s name. I hear Earl Sweatshirt and my mind jumps to some 40-year-old used car salesman who cheated on his wife a few years ago, and now he only gets to see his kids every other weekend. But they don’t even like him, so they just stay inside their rooms until their mother comes to pick them up on Sunday.



No. 6 – Foxy Brown

Like most of the rappers on this list, it’s easy to see why Foxy Brown wanted to change her name. She was born Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand. She obviously had to change her name if she wanted to be successful in the business. Can you imagine trying to introduce her during an open mic night? Her time would be up before the host even reached her last name.



No. 5 – T-Pain

Real name? Faheem Rashad Najm. He was born in Tallahassee, Florida, and we mention that for a reason. His stage name is reportedly short for Tallahassee Pain. It’s meant to remind him about the difficult times he had growing up there. Creating music was always a huge part of Mr. Pain’s life. At the young age of 10, he turned his bedroom into a music studio, using a beat machine, a keyboard and a four-track recorder.



No. 4 – ASAP Rocky

Most of us know how ASAP Rocky got his stage name, adopting it from the hip hop collective ASAP Mob. Rocky’s real name is Rakim Mayers, which is pretty relaxed compare to most of the names on this list. In fact, he was named after New York hip hop legend MC Rakim. And for those wondering, MC Rakim’s real name is William Michael Griffin Jr.



No. 3 – French Montana

The 30-year-old rapper was born Karim Kharbouch in Rabat, Morocco. How did Karim become French Montana? By mixing the history of Morocco with his obsession with Tony Montana. Back in 2009, he told AllHipHop the following…

“France had tried to take over Morocco, not in my time obviously, but there are still influences there from the French culture. So when I came over here [U.S.], the name French just kind of stuck with me. Then the Montana thing I just picked it up. There’s the whole cocaine connotation from the name of my DVD series with Tony Montana.”



No. 2 – Iggy Azalea

Before Azalea got her Iggy, she was first rolling around Australia with the name Amethyst Amelia Kelly. And last year, Amethyst was nice enough to take a break from being a racist, to discuss the meaning behind her stage name. She explained that she had a dog named Iggy, and one time he almost died after a fight with a snake, so she got a “name-plate necklace in his honor.” And she wore it so much that people started to believe her name was Iggy.

She decided on Azalea for her last name, “because that is a street name that my mom and family live on…and it sounds very feminine and I thought it would balance out Iggy being so masculine.”



No. 1 – Future

Do you know Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn? Of course you do, but only by his stage name Future. The insane man, who once cheated on the beautiful Ciara, first went by the name “Meathead of Da Connect” back in his battle rapping days. He then met Dungeon Family member G-Rock, and he would constantly tell ol’ Wilburn that he was the future.

“He used to always tell me, ‘You’re the future. You’re the future. You’re young man. You got energy. You’re ambitious. You’re the future of the Dungeon Family.'” He told MTV.