From Dijon To Webster: The Interesting Government Names Of Today’s Popular Rappers

August 5, 2014  |  
1 of 15

As a person with a long and interesting surname, I can always appreciate a good tongue twister or head scratcher when it comes to other people’s names. We’ve found that you all enjoy such quick glimpses into the lives of the people whose music is all over the radio, so here are few (make that quite a few actually) government names of rap stars that are quite the contrast from their colorful stage names.

Trinidad James

While his look and his stage name are very colorful (many have likened his image to that of Jerome from “Martin”), James was actually born Nicholas Williams. No frills, just Nicholas (probably called Nick or Nicky). The Atlanta-bred rapper was actually born in Trinidad, so one can assume that the island influenced his rap name.


The West Coast rapper known for hits like “My Ni**a” (also played clean as “My Hitta”), “Who Do You Love?” and “Toot It and Boot It” is known by many as YG (or Young Gangsta), but he was actually born Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson.

DJ Mustard

Speaking of YG, the man behind many of his beats, and other big rappers and singers out right now as a matter of fact, is known as DJ Mustard, and that name isn’t a coincidence. The producer was born Dijon McFarlane, and yes, Dijon is a popular form of mustard appreciated by the Grey Poupon lovers…

Rick Ross

Though he gets his name from former drug dealer “Freeway” Rick Ross, “Rozay” was actually born with the very traditional name of William Leonard Roberts II.

Rich Homie Quan

Known for his collaborations with YG (“My Ni**a”), August Alsina (“Ghetto”), and of course, his own hit song, “Type of Way,” the “Quan” in Rich Homie Quan’s stage name is based on his actual name, which is Dequantes Lamar.

Iggy Azalea

She’s so fancy! And so is Iggy Azalea’s name. The rapper and model was born Amethyst Amelia Kelly in her native of New South Wales in Australia. Her rap name reportedly comes from the name of her childhood dog, Iggy, and the street she grew up on–Azalea Street.

Remy Ma

The newly released female MC gets her rap name not from the cognac, but from her government name, which is Reminisce Smith.

A$AP Ferg

Known for his songs “Work” and “Shabba,” A$AP Ferg was born Darold Ferguson, Jr. He was named after his late father, who owned a popular boutique in Harlem and designed the Bad Boy logo, and did work for everyone from Heavy D to Teddy Riley.


The name Webster might be attached to the ’80s TV star, but it’s also the first name of Baton Rogue-bred rapper Webbie, born Webster Gradney, Jr.

DJ Khaled

The Palestinian producer and former Terror Squad DJ known for songs like “All I Do Is Win” and saying, “WE THE BEST! WHO!? WE NI**A!!” was actually born Khaled Khaled. And no, that’s not a typo.

Ty Dolla $ign

I’m sure you’ve heard his hit song, “Paranoid,” on the radio by now (“I’m paranoid, I’m trippin’/I been smokin’, and sipping”), but you probably didn’t know that the fella folks call Ty Dolla $ign was born Tyrone Griffin. Short and simple!

Waka Flocka Flame

The famous rapper who can currently be seen on “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” was actually born Juaquin Malphurs, but picked up his stage name in two different ways: Waka is a play on the muppet Fozzie Bear’s favorite saying of “Waka Waka,” and “Flocka Flame” was given to him by fellow rapper and former friend, Gucci Mane.

Lil Boosie

Another recently released MC, Lil Boosie’s government name is Torrence Hatch. He got the nickname “Boosie” from his family members, and it worked so well that “Boosie Bad Azz” made it into his stage name.


Raised in a Muslim household, T-Pain was born Faheem Rasheed Najm. His stage name,”Tallahassee Pain” is based on where the rapper/singer was raised and the struggles he faced while growing up there.


Born in St. Louis, raised in Senegal, Akon’s name is interesting only because it has everything but the kitchen sink in there: Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam.

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
blog comments powered by Disqus