LL Cool J or James Todd Smith? Names to make it as a rap artist

Written by    Last updated: March 26, 2007

One of the most creative areas of naming today is in rap music where the star’s name has to be as inventive as the lyrics…Would Cordazer Calvin Broadus have made it big if he hadn’t changed his name to Snoop Dogg? Would Eminem have been just as famous as Marshall Bruce Mathers? Check out what were the names given to them by their parents before they changed them:

The original names of rap artists

Rap name

Real name

2Pac Lesane Parish Crooks / Tupac Amaru Shakur
50 Cent Curtis James “Boo Boo” Jackson III
Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest) Malik Taylor
Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) Jonathan Davis
Aaliyah Aaliyah Dana Haughton
Akon Aliaune Thiam
Alicia Keys Alicia Augello Cook
Ashanti Ashanti Shaquoya Douglas
Beyonce Beyonce Giselle Knowles
Big Daddy Kane Antonio Hardy
Big L Lamont Coleman
Big Pun Christopher Lee Rios
Biz Markie Marcel Hall
Will.I.Am (Black Eyed Peas) William Adams
Bizzy Bone Bryon McCane
Busta Rhymes Trevor Tahiem Smith
Cassie Cassandra Ventura
Cee Lo Green Thomas Callaway
Chamillionaire Hakeem Seriki
Chingy Howard Bailey Jr.
CL Smooth Corey Penn
Common Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr.
Coolio Artis Leon Ivey Jr.
B-Real (Cypress Hill) Louis Freeze
Daz Dillinger Delmar Arnaud
Dave (De la Soul) David Jude Jolicoeur
Maseo (De la Soul) Vincent Mason
Posdnuos (De la Soul) Kelvin Mercer
DJ Premier Curtis Martin
DJ Quik David Martin Blake
DMX Earl Simmons
Dr. Dre Andre Romel Young
Eazy E Eric Wright
Eminem Marshall Bruce Mathers
Fabolous John Jackson
Fat Joe Jose Antonio Cartagena
Fatman Scoop Isaac Freeman III
Foxy Brown Inga Marchand
Wyclef Jean (Fugees) Nelust Wyclef Jean
The Game Jayceon Taylor
Genius/GZA Gary Grice
Ghostface Killah Dennis Coles
Grandmaster Flash Joseph Saddler
Ice Cube Oshea Jackson
Ice T Tracy Marrow
Ja Rule Jeffrey Atkins
Jay-Z Shaun Corey Carter
Jeru the Damaja Kendrick Jeru Davis
Jim Jones Joseph Jimmy Guillermo Jones II
Juelz Santana LaRon James
Just Blaze Justin Smith
Juvenile Terius Gray
Kanye West Kanye West
Kid Capri David Anthony Love
Kid Frost Arturo Molina Jr.
Kool Keith Keith Matthew Thornton
Kool Moe Dee Mohandas Dewese
KRS One Lawrence Krisna Parker
Kurtis Blow Curtis Walker
Large Professor William Paul Mitchell
Lauryn Hill Lauryn Noel Hill
Lil Jon Jonathan Smith
Lil Kim Kimberly Denise Jones
Lil Wayne Dwayne Michael Carter
LL Cool J James Todd Smith
Lloyd Banks Christopher Lloyd
Ludacris Christopher Brian Bridges
Lupe Fiasco Wasalu Muhammad Jaco
Master P Percy Miller
MC Hammer Stanley Kirk Burrell
MC Lyte Lana Moorer
Missy Elliot Melissa Elliott
Havoc (Mobb Deep) Kejuan Muchita
Prodigy (Mobb Deep) Albert Johnson
Mos Def Dante Terrell “Beze” Smith
Nas Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones
Nate Dogg Nathaniel Dwayne Hale
Ne-Yo Shaffer Chimere Smith
Nelly Cornell Haynes Jr.
N.O.R.E. Victor Santiago Jr.
Notorious B.I.G. Christopher Wallace
Andre 3000 (Outkast) Andre Lauren Benjamin
Big Boi (Outkast) Antwan Andre Patton
Pete Rock Peter Phillips
Pitbull Armando Christian Perez
Chuck D (Public Enemy) Carlton Ridenhour
Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) William Jonathan Drayton, Jr
Puff Daddy aka Diddy Sean John Combs
Queen Latifah Dana Owens
R Kelly Robert Sylvester Kelly
Rah Digga Rashia Fisher
Rakim William Griffin
Redman Reggie Noble
Roxanne Shante Lolita Shante Gooden
DMC (Run DMC) Darryl McDaniels
Jam Master Jay (Run DMC) Jason William Mizell
Run (Run DMC) Joseph Simmons
Scarface Bradley Terrance Jordan
Sean Paul Sean Paul Henriques
Sir Mix-a-lot Anthony Ray
Slick Rick Ricky Walters
Snoop Dogg Cordazer Calvin Broadus
T.I. Clifford Harris Jr.
Talib Kweli Talib Kweli Greene
Black Thought (The Roots) Tariq Luqmaan Trotter
Timbaland Tim Mosley
Tone Loc Anthony Terrell Smith
Trick Daddy Maurice Young
Trina Katrina Laverne Taylor
Twista Carl Mitchell
Warren G Warren Griffin
Will Smith Willard Christopher Smith Jr.
Inspectah Deck (Wu tang clan) Jason Hunter
Masta Killa (Wu tang clan) Jamal Turner
Method Man (Wu tang clan) Clifford Smith
ODB (Wu tang clan) Russel Tyrone Jones
Raekwon the chef (Wu tang clan) Corey Woods
RZA Robert Fitzgerald Diggs
U God (Wu tang clan) Lamont Harris
Xzibit Alvin Joyner
Young Jeezy Jay Jenkins

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