Have you ever wondered how your favorite rapper got their moniker?
Rappers have mastered the art of coming up with catchy stage names for themselves. Most rappers create monikers before becoming famous because it's seen as notoriously uncool to use your real name in the rap industry.
While some rappers use stage names to elevate their status in the game, some use these professional names because their real names are difficult to pronounce.
In fact, aliases are adopted for a wide variety of reasons and they may sometimes be similar, or nearly identical, to an individual's birth name. Artists who created aliases based on their birth names are the likes of J. Cole and Lil Durk.
In this article, we take a look at some of your favorite rapper's government names and their origins.
Young M.A — Katorah Kasanova Marrero
Katorah Kasanova Marrero was born in Brooklyn, New York — and she is better known by her rap name "Young MA" which stands for Young Me. Always). Young MA's mother is Jamaican, and her father is Puerto Rican, and her real name reflects her family background.
Rich Homie Quan — Dequantes Devontay Lamar
Dequantes Devontay Lamar is popularly known as Rich Homie Quan. His rap name is an abbreviated version of his real name Dequantes, and he explained the meaning behind his stage name on .
"When I say rich, I say moreso in spirit," he said. "I let that be the motto more than the money."
Earl Sweatshirt — Thebe Neruda Kgositsile
Thebe Neruda Kgositsile — professionally known as Earl Sweatshirt — is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He was born in Chicago to Cheryl Harris, a law professor and critical race theorist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Keorapetse Kgositsile, a South African poet and political activist.
Tory Lanez — Daystar Peterson
Daystar Shemuel Shua Peterson, known professionally as Tory Lanez, is a Canadian rapper, singer, and songwriter. Tory was born in Brampton, Ontario to a Bajan father and a mother from Curaçao.
He was named after his father, Sonstar, and his name is said to mean "bright and morning star."
Lil Uzi Vert — Symere Bysil Woods
Lil Uzi Vert's real name is Symere Bysil Woods, and while not much is known about his family and background, the rapper revealed he got his stage name from a "crackhead" who said he rapped fast.
If he ever wants to go back to his birth name, Symere is a great option!
Cardi B — Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar
Cardi B's real name is Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, both her names are Spanish translations of Arabic words. Belcalis is thought to be a reference to the Queen of Sheba, while Almanzar—from the Arabic “al mandhar”— translates to “lookout point” or “watchtower.”
The rapper's mother and father come from Trinidad and the Dominican Republic, respectively. Cardi has previously spoken about her ethnicity on Instagram Live.
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