If there’s one thing hip hop has brought to the mainstream, its the outrageous stage moniker.
[ad]In fact, so much depends on the moniker a rapper adopts that it can be the difference between a decently successful rapper versus an outright superstar (of course, talent being equal).
Here are a few tips that you should really keep in mind if you’re ever serious about your rap career.
Or even if you’re ever interested in telling chicks that you rap and not have them laugh you in the face.
1. Be Professional
Look, you’re in the rap game for either two reasons: a.) You’re an idiot with nothing better to do, and b.) You’re serious about hip hop, your career, and about preserving the soul of rap.
If you fall in the latter category, pick a name that isn’t something your octogerarian grandpa would utter at the family thanksgiving reunion after three glasses of cheap red wine. This includes names like “Bubba Sparxxx” – though your grandpa would probably be the coolest grandpa in the world if he utters this after a night of heavy drinking.
A good professional name will ideally give you an identity that can later be used as a cultural reference, as well as appear expansive. Moreover, a professional name will lend itself excellently to print and other parodies of itself. A good example would be “Timbaland“, which has just the correct balance of ambiguity and expansiveness that the serious rapper should aim for.
2. Avoid Geeky Names
We understand that you’re a big D&D fan, that your favorite rapper is Weird Al Yankovic, and that your favorite musical genre is nerdcore. But that still doesn’t give you the permission to name yourself “Aragon 2 Bad” or “Mad Unicorn”, “Frodo Dodo”, or “Duke Pussywalker”.
The only dude you should consider naming yourself after is Darth Vader – that guy is just way too badass.
3. Acceptable Animals in Rapper Names
This is a heavily contested issue, but we at Rappers.org feel that very few animals lend themselves well to be included in a modern, sophisticated, professional rapper’s name. The usual staple of “Dog, Dogg, Doggy” exist, but their appeal has certainly taken a beating after the lack of Snoop Dogg hits and the bravado of the Rockstar Games’ team to include a rapper named Mad Dogg in the Grand Theft Auto 3: San Andreas game (which is totally uncool).
What other animals can you name yourself after? Any ferocious carnivore should suffice – lion, panther, jaguar, grizzly bear, polar bear, orca, great white shark, etcetra. “Tiger” would lend you a certain mysterious Oriental air, while “Jaguar” has just that right touch of Mexico for your Mariachi Rap group (which is a genre hitherto unexplored by most rappers). “Grizzly Bear” in a rap name, on the other hand, will evoke the great outdoors and give you ample fans in Canada and Michigan’s redneck lumberjack community. Do, however, refrain from naming yourself after the Hippopotamus, or the Rhinoceros, which, while ferocious in their own right, have a tendency to err on the wrong side of portliness.
4. The All Initial Name
Who would fall under this category? N.W.A., DMX, etcetra. While certainly cool, keep in mind that the initials actually stand for something you or your rap group believes in, or at least sounds cool. N.W.A., for instance, stood for “Niggaz With Attitude” – I know it sounds lame today, but was infinitely cool in the 80s. So keep in mind when you name your rap group D.W.D – “Dudes With Cocks”, which would only be stating the (hopefully) obvious.