2 Chainz wore two chains in his 8th grade picture; he decided to adopt that name since he loved jewelry. Prior to performing under the name 2 Chainz, he used to be known as Tity Boi because he was the only child and was breastfed.
French Montana is from Morocco, a country heavily influenced by French culture, hence the first part of his name. Montana is adopted from Tony Montana, the main character in the film Scarface.
Khalifa is an Arabic word which stands for “Successor.” Khalifa was given to Wiz Khalifa by his Muslim Grandad. The name Wiz was adopted because he’s wise beyond his years.
Started out with the name “JayOvee.” But he later changed his name to Joey Bada$$ since he believed that would draw more attention.
When Fabolous met DJ Clue, he told him he was a “Fabolous vocabulist” and asked if he could rap for him. After listening to Fabolous rap, DJ Clue thought his name was “Fabolous vocabulist” and started spreading the word around. Though at the time he went with the name “Sport,” he decided to stick to Fabolous.
Ab-Soul stands for “Absolute”. While watching his little sister’s play, one of the characters said “Jimmy got soul!” Ab-Soul said he had “Absolute” and decided to shorten it to Ab-Soul. The dash was added because there was another group with the name Absoul.
Action Bronson used to tag buildings with the word “Action.” When he started rapping he thought he should add something to his name; in honor of Charles Bronson from the “Deathwish” series, he added Bronson to his name.
Schoolboy Q used to go by “Q” for Quincy. TDE president Punch later told him he should add “Schoolboy” to his name since he was a smart kid.
Cyhi Da Prynce shares birthday (November 14) with Prince Charles of Wales, so he decided to replace the “del” in his name with “hi” from “Your Highness.”
One of Meek Mill’s childhood friends used to call him “Meek Millions,” he decided to shorten the name and use it as his rap name.
Yelawolf’s father is Cherokee, Yela is a Cherokee word which means sun. His name represents the duality between his intellectual "light" side (Yella), and his aggressive, survivalist "dark" side (Wolf).
His father’s name is Gucci Mane; he decided to adopt the name when he started rapping.
Macklemore was supposed to create a fictional superhero for a group project in high school; they came up with the name Professor Macklemore. Macklemore removed the Professor from the name and used it as his rap name.
Lupe Fiasco (Wasalu Muhammad Jaco)
Wasalu was often shortened for Lu; when coming up with his rap name, he thought his friend’s name “Lupe” sounded better than “Lu” and used that. Fiasco was borrowed from The Firm’s 1997 song “Firm Fiasco.”
Iggy Azalea named herself after her dog.
He came up with his name using the Wu-Tang name generator.
DMX got his name from the popular 80’s Oberheim DMX drum machine. DMX later turned his name into an acronym which stands for “Dark Man X” to depict the hard time he was going through.
When Jay-Z was younger he was nicknamed “Jazzy.“ As he grew up, he decided to use Jay-Z instead of Jazzy.
When Diddy used to get mad as a kid he used to huff and puff, so they nicknamed him Puffy. After his club shooting incident, in an attempt to rebrand himself, he decided to go with P. Diddy. The name was confusing fans, so he decided to drop the P and go as Diddy.
Snoop Dogg was nicknamed Snoopy (dog from Peanuts comic strip) by his mother. He decided to use the name as his rap name.
Vanilla Ice was the only white break dancing kid in his class and his classmates used to call him vanilla. When he started rapping he adopted the name and added “Ice” to it to give it a positive spin.
Tupac Amaru comes from the name of a Cuban revolutionary, and Shakur is Arabic for “thankful to God.”
50 Cent adopted his name from Kelvin “50 Cent” Martin, a Queens gangster/stick-up man whom was willing to rob you even if you only had 50 cent in your pockets. 50 Cent also chose the name because a coin has 2 sides; at the time he was in the process of trading his street life for music.
Eminem originally went by “Double M” which are his name’s initials. He later started going by M&M (Eminem).
Chief Keef (Keith Cozart)
Chief is a high rank within the Black Disciples gang which Chief Keef is a member of. Keef is a reference to his first name, as well as a reference to the sifted grain made from marijuana buds.