What's in a name? For hip-hop artists, there's a decent chance that a moniker possesses some special significance, especially if it carries an acronym.

From nearly the beginning of rap history, artists have used acronyms to add a layer of pizzazz to their identities as rappers. In many cases, stage names reference artists' government names. Just take hip-hop's very first superstar LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith). From the outset of his career as an effortlessly cool wordsmith, LL established himself as effortlessly cool. So cool, in fact, that the ladies loved him, hence the moniker "LL" for "ladies love." Get it?

From there, the list goes on and on. Everyone from 1980's rap pioneers Run-DMC and N.W.A to late 1990's juggernauts like DMX and UGK shorten their names to mere letters. B.o.B, A$AP Mob and Big K.R.I.T. followed in the aughts. And the tradition has lived on to present day. With folks like YFN Lucci, YBN Nahmir, SOB x RBE and YoungBoy Never Broke Again truncating their stage names, it seems to be more popular than ever.

What do they all mean, though? XXL takes a look at rappers who've used acronyms in their names, providing background and breakdowns to decode the madness. (Backronyms are excluded, here—we're sticking with only the authentic). See if any of these folks—and the meanings of their names—look familiar to you.

See Rappers With Acronyms in Their Name

Which rapper has the most unique acronym?

More From XXL