The Daily Grind Video

What’s in a name? Rappers know best that a street name makes or breaks a career and the following hip hop bigwigs have made sure that their stage-names reflect their music and aura in the industry. 

A rapper’s name can show a side of their character their original names lack in delivery and add a bit of a flair. 

Often shortened, more original, and catchy musicians reinvent themselves through their aliases, and some of them are more shocking than others which shows how much a name can imapct our first impressions. 

Take a look at the list of rapper’s real names in the following pages!


Drake: Aubrey Drake Graham

His most famous line is last name ‘ever’ first name ‘Greatest’ but he was born with the name Aubrey Drake Graham.


50 Cent: Curtis James “boo boo” Jackson III

50 Cent’s name is said to have been borrowed from a gangster in Fort Greene.


Akon: Aliuane Badara Akon Thiam

‘Akon’ is is his middle name and he tells Ellen DeGeneres that it is just easier for the general public to pronounce compared to his polysyllabic tongue twister African descended name.  We agree.


Bow Wow: Shad Gregory Moss

Shad Gregory Moss first emerged onto the scene as Lil Bow Wow but dropped the first part as he grew older.  He told MTV ‘I changed my name because I’m getting older now and it’s too many Lil’s.’


Cee Lo: Thomas DeCarlo Callaway

On buildling his brand through the name Cee Lo he states, ‘“Lady Killer” literally is my first record as Cee Lo Green, a name brand. In Gnarls Barkley, they didn’t call me Cee Lo Green. They called me Gnarls. And that’s not my name.’


Curren$y: Shante Franklin


Wale: Olubowale Victor Akintimehin


Yelawolf: Michael Wayne Atha

The root of Michael Wayne Atha’s name is Native American he shares in an interview, ‘Yeah, yeah. YelaWolf is Native American, yellow being the color of the sun, fire, power, hunger, drive and “wolf” represents my ability to survive and my fearlessness.’

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