What’s in a name? Calling Too $hort something other than Too $hort won’t make him grow five inches…but he still has to walk around with that name every day. The world of hip-hop is packed with confusing names. There are Young’s and Lil’s who are old and big, acronyms that make no sense, names written backward, nonsensical symbols and jacked-up spellings of dead philosophers. Then, just when you get used to a name, it changes. For example, Tity Boi now goes by 2Chainz and Mos Def will soon be Yasiin. Rappers outgrow names. So why have the following seven performers not updated theirs?
M.I.A. may not a rapper-rapper per se, but Maya Arulpragasam used to be one of the most elusive artists in music. Now she’s pretty much everywhere: at fashion shows and red carpet events, speaking out in the news, performing pregnant at the Grammys with Kanye, Jay-Z and T.I., etc. She is no longer “missing in action.” Although she has been off her Twitter account for nearly two months, so maybe she’s trying to relive her moniker. Stay tuned.
Young Jeezy is flirting with 34. That’s definitely not “young” in hip-hop years. Jay-Z stretched his nickname “Young Hova” for as long as possible before settling on just “Hov.” While Jeezy tends to use the “Young” at random, it’s within his best interest to officially drop it on Oct. 12 (the day he turns 34). No one will be confused or miss it, Jeezy. No one.
It’s tough being the big man on campus. It’s even tougher losing 100 pounds and still being called “big man.” Fat Joe built a career alongside a line of overweight lovers, but Joey Crack is no longer fat. The Terror Squad kingpin should shed the “Fat” like he did the weight and leave the overweight-loving to the likes of Heavy D and The Fat Boys.
When you think of a “kid sister” you imagine that annoying girl your best friend dragged to the movies because his mom made him, not some badass female rapstress who’s actually the older sister of one-half of Flosstradamus. Kid Sister is no one’s “kid sister.” She’s eclipsed that title. Maybe she can go by KS. We’ll still know who it is.
Kid Cudi is another rapper who’s far from a kid. While the Cudster has been known to cry and whine like a child, he has gone beyond “Kid” status. The name “Cudi” stands alone just fine, anyway.
Wayne Carter has been going by “Lil Wayne” since he started rapping in his preteens. You can no longer go by “Lil” when you are larger than life. At this point Wayne could start going by “MC Rose Nylund” and people would flock to the name change. He doesn’t have to go that far though. Weezy is just fine.
Royce Da 5’9
The other half of Bad Meets Evil (alongside Eminem), Royce Da 5’9 recently dropped the inches symbol from his name (previously Royce Da 5’9″). What’s the point? He’s better off as Royce or “Nickel Nine” as he also likes to be called. Having “Da” in your name is already taboo, so anything else is just further confirmation for a name change. Besides, we know how tall you are, Royce, and we love you for it.