12 Rappers With Perfect Stage Names

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  • kid ink chance sage
    Sage The Gemini's debut album, <em>Remember Me</em>, dropped last week, and that got us at <em>XXL</em> thinking—which rappers have the most perfect stage names? Not perfect as in Kendrick Lamar, or Drake, or Joe Budden—those are just given names—but names that just perfectly describe the person that uses them. There are plenty of fantastic names out there, of course, from Method Man to Rich Homie Quan to Ty Dolla $ign and a galaxy of others, but we're talking real descriptive here, as in names that clearly indicate who you're talking about just from the words themselves. <em>XXL</em> rounded up twelve of our favorite stage names that fit the artist perfectly, from Kid Ink to DJ Mustard to Chance The Rapper. What's in a name? <em>—Dan Rys (<a title="danrys" href="https://twitter.com/danrys" target="_blank">@danrys</a>)</em>
  • Brisk-Bodega-DJ-Mustard
    <h2>DJ Mustard</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Dijon McFarlane<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 23<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> Los Angeles<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> Simply put, his real name is Dijon—a fantastic choice, by the way—so Mustard just fits fantastically. Not only that, but he's managed to put out a mixtape, 2013's <em>Ketchup</em>, that perfectly fits the theme that he's built for himself. This is flawless appropriation of the materials at hand. Nicely done, sir.
  • sage_the_gemini_2
    <h2>Sage The Gemini</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Dominic Woods<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 21<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> San Francisco<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> His birthday of June 20 puts him at the very end of the Gemini zodiac period, but just because you barely make the cut doesn't make it true. He's said himself that he's not that into astrology or astrological signs, but his name reflects the reality of his personal situation anyway. As for Sage? That'd be the color of his eyes. Adorable.
  • flo_rida
    <h2>Flo Rida</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Tramar Dillard<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 34<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> Carol City, Florida<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> Well, he's from Florida, so it's really all right there laid out for you. Other candidates for the location-based slot, such as BJ The Chicago Kid, went a little more descriptive; Flo Rida stripped all that away and merely added a space three letters in. It doesn't get much more literal than that.
  • 2-chainz-mtv
    <h2>2 Chainz</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Tauheed Epps<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 36<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> Atlanta<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> Literally anything would have been better than Tity Boi, right? Searching to reinvent himself, Tauheed simply looked down at his shirt, realized it was being shielded with two chains, and developed one of the best ad-libs of the last three years. That, and the fact that his first two albums are stunning in their simplicity and two-chains-ness, makes the name perfect.
  • Devin_The_Dude
    <h2>Devin The Dude</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Devin Copeland<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 43<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> St. Petersburg, Fla. / Houston, TX<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> I mean, he didn't really switch up anything here; Devin's just a regular dude. His first solo album? Called <em>The Dude</em>. Real name? Devin. It's all there, and he made it his own.
  • Chance-The-Rapper
    <h2>Chance The Rapper</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Chancellor Bennett<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 20<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> Chicago<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> This one follows the same formula as Devin The Dude, but Chano describes himself a <em>little</em> bit more than just as another dude—he's a rapper. Along with his manager, Pat The Manager, they're as no-nonsense stage names as you could get. The concept makes sense, in a way; get the name out of the way, and focus purely on the music. He's made the brand his own by this point.
  • gunplay_2
    <h2>Gunplay</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Richard Morales<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 34<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> Carol City, Florida<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> He didn't go the way of fellow Carol City rapper Flo Rida in the most literal sense, but he, much like C-Murder, came to embody his own moniker. In late 2012, a video surfaced of him threatening a man with a gun, which led to aggravated assault charges and armed robbery. The charges were dropped, but the video remained damning anyway.
  • kid ink
    <h2>Kid Ink</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Brian Collins<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 27<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> Los Angeles<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> <em>USA Today</em> once got him to speak on his myriad of tattoos, saying the ones on his face and body number in the dozens. Any added tats would have to crowd in with the ones already there; he's like a West Coast Wiz Khalifa at this point.
  • No-Malice
    <h2>No Malice</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Gene Thornton<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 41<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> Virginia Beach<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> Formerly named Malice, the Clipse member—or former Clipse member, anyway—changed his name to No Malice after finding God and dedicating his career to preaching the word of Jesus. He's stated since then that he wouldn't go back and perform any old Clipse songs that glorify drugs or violence, which turned out to be a large part of their catalog.
  • c-murder
    <h2>C-Murder</h2> <strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Corey Miller<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 43<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> New Orleans<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> His first album was called <em>Life Or Death</em>, and his third was called <em>Trapped In Crime</em>, and both of those came <em>before</em> the 2002 shooting of a fan outside of a nightclub where the No Limit soldier was supposed to perform. He was convicted of murder in 2003, then granted a new trial and placed under house arrest until 2009, when he was convicted again for the murder and sentenced to life in prison. He appealed and lost in 2011, and remains in prison on the murder charge, awaiting further developments. Sometimes stage names become <em>more</em> appropriate as time goes on, and this was one such occasion, sadly.
  • nwa_solo
    <h2>N.W.A</h2><strong>Gov't Names:</strong> Andre Young, Eric Wright, O'Shea Jackson, Lorenzo Patterson and Antoine Carraby<br /><strong>Ages:</strong> 40s<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> Los Angeles<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> Well, they certainly had attitude, refusing to tame or temper their lyrics even in the face of a threatening letter from the FBI. "Fuck Tha Police" alone justifies their group name.
  • Tyler-cat
    <h2>Tyler, The Creator</h2><strong>Gov't Name:</strong> Tyler Okonma<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 23<br /><strong>Hometown:</strong> Los Angeles<br /><strong>Why It's Perfect:</strong> What's his name? Tyler. What does he do? Well, he creates things. It's a tad more expansive than Chance The Rapper or Devin The Dude, since he's incorporating his other creations into his name as well. Smart for multi-branding purposes, Ty. We see you.