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11 Favorite Rappers' Real Names
written by Sam Greenspan

I always get a kick out of seeing a list of famous people's real names. Back when I was 11 or 12, I found a list of pro wrestlers' real names (and I was entertained to no end knowing that Jake "The Snake" Roberts is really named Aurelian Smith, Jr. or that Shawn Michaels is really Michael Shawn Hickenbottom).

Yesterday, I was reading about DMX (for a list I'm preparing for the future) and saw something I'd completely forgotten: His real name is Earl Simmons. I love rappers named Earl. I love rappers whose real names are just thousands of miles away from the toughness of their stage names.

So here are 11 of my favorite rappers' real names, with a brief description of why I'm so into it.

  1. Inga? Inga Marchand. From Miss Peterson's third grade homeroom! I thought that was you!
    Foxy Brown - Inga Marchand. Because Inga Marchand sounds like a Swedish tour guide, not a semi-deaf, semi-talented rapper whose ratio of arrests to hit songs is like 40-to-1.

  2. Lord Tariq - Sean Hamilton. Because Sean Hamilton sounds like a male figure skater.

  3. Chuck D - Carlton Douglas Ridenhour. Yes, Public Enemy became big before "Fresh Prince of Bel Air". But unfortunately for Chuck D, from the day that "Fresh Prince" debuted, the name Carlton was officially ruined for the black man.

  4. Salt-N-Pepa - Cheryl James and Sandra Denton, respectively. Because Cheryl and Sandra sound like two ladies you'd be having over for tea, not two ladies who wanna shoop to the next man in the three-piece suit.

  5. Scarface - Brad Jordan. Because Scarface is a gritty, serious, hardcore street rapper and Brad Jordan is the guy who gets picked eighth in a pickup basketball game at the JCC.

  6. Suge Knight - Dennis Ames. Because I wouldn't be afraid of someone named Dennis Ames shooting me for accidentally telling him, like, his brown shirt actually looks beige.

  7. Inspectah Deck - Jason Hunter. Because Jason Hunter sounds like a Ku Klux Klansman more than a Wu Tang Clansman. (Close second for lamest real Wu Tang name: RZA is Robert Fitzgerald Diggs.)

  8. Chingy - Howard Bailey Jr. Because Howard Bailey is a much more applicable name for someone whose rap is so generic.

  9. Ice Cube - O'Shea Jackson. Because I'm jealous at how cool a name O'Shea Jackson is. And also because I really like O'Sheas, the crappy casino in Las Vegas.

  10. Lloyd Banks - Christopher Lloyd. Great Scott!

  11. Lil' Bow Wow - Shad Moss. Because his real name is about 1,200% more gangsta than his stage name.


This post was originally published on Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 04:24:14 PM under the category Music.

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