We have come to know rap and business legend Jay Z by quite a few monikers. There has been ov, Jay Z, Jay, Sean Carter, and Jigga, to list a few off. He is now going by all caps JAY Z. This name change, which was announced through Pitchfork, is accompanying his forthcoming album 4:44. What do we think of his name change? Well, Beyoncé’s husband would also work very well…
So here’s a list to remind you just how frequently rappers change their names.
- 2 Chainz
Okay this one is criminally underrated. Rapper 2 Chainz formerly went by the name Tity Boi. This name was criticized as derogatory to women. So he eventually changed his name to 2 Chainz to be more “family friendly.”
- Sean Combs
Much like Jay, Sean Combs has cycled through a myriad of nicknames. All of which are vaguely related. He was Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, and Diddy. We honestly don’t even know which one he prefers now.
- Snoop Dogg
Snoop has had some interesting and creative re-brandings. What we’re thinking of is a few years back when he went by Snoop Lion, and dipped his tows into the reggae music world. He had also gone by the name The Doggfather.
- The Notorious BIG
NYC rap legend Christopher Wallace is known by both Biggie Smalls and The Notorious B.I.G. But he actually had to get away from the name Biggie Smalls after Calvin Lockhart played a character with the same name in 1975 movie Let’s Do It Again. Due to a lawsuit, Biggie officially had to use the name The Notorious B.I.G.
- J. Cole
Jermaine Cole goes by an abbreviated version of his name. However when he was just 17 years old, he was given the alias “Therapist.” Thinking it sounded too much like a name for a wrestler, he went back to the abbreviated version of his birth name
- Kendrick Lamar
Similarly to J. Cole’s abbreviation, Kendrick Lamar at one point went by the moniker K. Dot. He was using this name when he first started rapping as young teen. But later on he went back to his birth name, in an effort to grow as a lyricist and improve his reputation.
New Orleans rapper Birdman used to go by the stage name “Baby.” He transitioned to Birman after his group Big Tymers broke up.
- Mac Miller
Malcolm James McCormick is known by quite a few names. His stage name Mac Miller, but also he is a record producer under the pseudonym Larry Fisherman. He has multiple other alter-egos with clever names like Delusional Thomas, Larry Lovestein, and the Velvet Revival. But perhaps most clever of all was his original stage name-Easy Mac.
- Earl Sweatshirt
Thebe Neruda Kgositsile is known by Earl Sweatshirt. But for a while he went by the moniker Sly Tendencies. After Tyler, The Creator asked him to join his hip-hop collective Odd Future, he changed his name.
Say what you will about Seattle rapper Macklemore, but he would have definitely seemed more pedantic with his old moniker Professor Mack Lemore.