There are a ton of actors, authors, and singers, out there that choose not to use their real names; some do it out of embarrassment of not having a strong publishing name, while others wish to stay anonymous for their publications. Most of the time, Celebrities wishing to be known under a “star name” will simply keep their first or last name, and make up the other one. The two most common professions for celebrities to change into an onstage persona which is almost unrecognizable, is professional wrestling, and hip hop rapping.
There aren’t too many rappers these days that are known by their real name, and some would argue that the name doesn’t even matter since it’s really all about the music. But regardless of what kind of music you create, you want to give yourself a cool and catchy name for people to remember you. While the origins of some of the biggest rap names a have been discovered, a lot of them are still shrouded in mystery.
But which rappers have the weirdest names in their day to day life? Here are the top 16 rappers that have hilarious real names, but judging by their lyrical content you probably don’t want to risk using them.
#16 – A$AP Rocky
“ASAP Rocky,” or “A$AP Rocky,” (whatever you want to call him) is obviously not his real name; Rocky’s rap name actually derives from his real name: Rakim Mayers. Rocky derives from Rakhim, while the “A$AP” part of his name originates from his hip hop group: “the A$AP Mob.” The 26-year-old Rocky has released two solo albums, with both of them having reaching the top of mainstream rap charts. Rockys biggest song so far is titled “F***ing Problems,” which is exactly what you’ll have if you happen to call him Rakim.
#15 – Plies
Plies is a 39-year-old rapper from Fort Myers, Florida, but in 1996 and 1997, he actually played college ball with the Redhawks in Ohio. If you look Plies up in the old team roster, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to not find his name anywhere; the rapper’s real names is Algernod Lanier Washington (which sounds like an all American Hero in a children’s story). Mr. Washington will release his first album this year since 2010, with his last release (“Goon Affiliated”) having reached number one on the rap and r&b charts. Plies probably wouldn’t be affiliated with very many goons if they knew his name was “Algernod.”
#14 – French Montana
French Montana neither comes from France, nor Montana, but rather the country of Morocco. French Montana founded “Cocaine City Records” in 2012, and is still the CEO of the successful label; he works alongside “Bad Boy Records” and “Maybach Music Group” to consistently keep his releases fresh. French Montana 30 years old now, so he couldn’t hope to keep his real name a secret forever; French Montana’s birth name Karim Kharbouch, and his first rap name was actually “Young French,” although Mr. Kharbouch is actually closer to the dressing than the Country.
#13 – Gucci Mane
As you probably already know in regards to Gucci Mane’s stage name, Gucci is an expensive brand of both designer clothing and accessories, and “Mane” is just a play on words. Gucci Mane made his rap debut over 10 years ago, when he released the popular album “Trap House,” and has been a mainstay in hip hop ever since; the 35-year-old’s real name is Radric Delantic Davis, so it’s easy to see why he took on a new persona: it clearly isn’t as catchy, and just by look at the name there is no way to know for sure if it’s a “mane” at all.
#12 – Future
Like many other rappers, Future is based out of the hip hop hotbed of Atlanta, Georgia. Future got his start in 2008 making mix tapes, and he would later release two of them in both 2010 and 2011 which would take off. After Future blew up he was signed by “Epic Records,” where he released two chart topping albums; his third album, “DS2,” came out this year, and has been receiving massive critical acclaim. Future’s rap name isn’t even close to his real name, which is Nayvadius DeMon Wilburn (probably something “Future” would like to leave in the past).
#11 – Waka Flocka Flame
You can call him “Waka Flocka Flame,” “Waka Flocka,” or simply “Waka,” but no matter how you dice it you’re going to sound like Pac-Man; the man who declared he was running for President in the 2016 election broke through in a big way back in 2009, when he signed up with Warner Bros. Records, and released hits such as “Hard in da Paint,” and “No Hands.” Waka Flocka was born in Queens, but he was raised out of Atlanta. Waka Flocka’s real name is actually Juaquin James Malphurs, which sounds like he should go by the name “French Montana.”
#10 – Iggy Azalea
Raise your hand if you can actually name any white female rapper from Australia who isn’t Iggy Azalea. Nobody? All right then. Iggy was born in Sydney, and moved to the United States nearly 10 years ago in order to become a hip hop star (a dream her parents thought was stupid, and you can’t really blame them). Iggy’s first big hit landed last Summer when she released “Fancy” with Charli XCX, and since then she has pumped out multiple hits. Iggy’s real name would actually be a decent rap name on its own, as she is literally named: Amethyst Amelia Kelly.
#9 – Lupe Fiasco
Lupe Fiasco became a huge name in hip hop nearly a decade ago, when he released “Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor,” and teamed up with Kanye West for the song “Superstar.” Fiasco has released several successful albums, with four out of the five reaching topping out on the rap charts. Fiasco’s real name is a real mouthful, as it’s Wasalu Muhammad Jaco. Some of Fiasco’s previous stage names include “Little Lu,” and “Lu tha Underdog,” but with a name like “Wasalu” we probably believe the underdog story.
#8 – 2 Chainz
Wouldn’t you know it, there’s another famous rapper from the Atlanta area! 2 Chainz was one half of “Playaz Circle,” and started to acquire some recognition after being signed on by Ludacris’s record label, and releasing the hit song “Duffle Bag Boy.” 2 Chainz has had a massively successful solo career ever since his time with Ludacris, eventually overshadowing his original rap name of “Tity Boi” (which shockingly he would later admit was a horrible mistake). Mr. Tity Boi would have been much off using his actual name: Tauheed Epps, which sounds a lot better even if we don’t know how to pronounce it properly.
#7 – Kreayshawn
Kreayshawn is one of the youngest rappers on the list, and also one of the few females. Kreayshawn got her start in 2011 after shooting a viral music video called “Gucci Gucci” with her friends (known as The White Girl Mob). Kreayshawn would then go out on her own to start a solo career, releasing her first album in 2012, titled “Somethin’ ‘Bout Kreay,” but without the mob of white girls behind her the success of the hit single wasn’t paralleled. Kreayshawn originally hails from San Francisco, California, and her real name is Natassia Gail Zolot (which makes her sound like a particularly evil Nordic villain).
#6 – Foxy Brown
The younger fans of hip hop might not remember Foxy Brown all that well, but even years after reaching her career’s peak she is still around in small doses. Brown released her first solo album in 1996 called “Ill Na Na,” back when she was a member of “Def Jam Records,” and is currently still signed to “Black Rose Records.” Foxy Brown has just about every heritage contained within her real name, which is “Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand:” a difficult name to get into show business with, and also a way to order 4 different liquors at the bar.
#5 – Wale
Washington D.C. native “Wale” is a hero in his hometown, and quickly became known all over the world for his unique and original rap style. Wale signed his first big contract back in 2008 with “Interscope Records” for over $1 million, and has since had three albums reach number one on the rap charts, with three more singles reaching into the top five. Wale’s rap name is a shortening of his first name, but his full title is “Olubowale Victor Akintimehin.” We don’t know exactly what Wale is the “victor” of, but it’s probably not a competition for popular and concise names.
#4 – Jay-Z
Jay-Z is one of the most famous rappers to ever walk on stage, and has the highest estimated net worth in the rapping industry of more than half a billion dollars. Jay-Z was originally born in Brooklyn, New York (and is very proud of it) as Shawn Corey Carter. Despite “Shawn” being a perfectly normal name, Jay-Z was actually known by “Jazzy” in his neighborhood; after deciding to use the moniker it on stage, he eventually just shortened it to Jay-Z for simplicity’s sake. The name “Jay-Z” is also a tribute to his mentor, known as “Jaz-O,” but after achieving all of his success perhaps Jay-Z should have been the one to mentor him!
#3 – Wiz Khalifa
If there is one person in the rap game who is not shy about performing on stage under the influence of marijuana, it’s Snoop Dog, but if there were two people then Wiz Khalifa would be included in the list as well. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native Wiz Khalifa released his first solo album back in 2006 when he was only 16 years old. Khalifa has been an industry staple since then, with hits such as “Black and Yellow,” and “Work Hard, Play Hard.” Khalifa was actually born in North Dakota, and at birth was given the name of Cameron Jibril Thomaz (which seems like a typo, but it isn’t).
#2 – M.I.A.
Most people know that “M.I.A.” stands for Missing in Action, but the story of the rapper’s origin is much more interesting. M.I.A. is a British rapper with a long career, but the mainstream American audience really only started to take notice when her song, “Paper Planes,” was featured in the trailer for “Pineapple Express.” M.I.A. came up with her stage name as a result her cousin going missing in Sri Lanka, but her real name is actually Mathangi Arulpragasam, so acronym works in more ways than one.
#1 – Macklemore
The final rapper on our list is the Seattle native, Macklemore. Macklemore has always been involved in the indie scene, but he never really caught on with a majority of listeners until early 2013, when he and Ryan Lewis released the video for “Thrift Shop;” it was the first song to reach number one on the Billboard charts without having been released by a major label. Macklemore was born in 1983 under the name Ben Haggerty, which sounds more like a bagpipe player with a taste for haggis.