A good rap name is like good rap: it sounds effortless without coming off sloppy, and it never tries too hard. Whether its vibe is biblical (Hova), comic book villain (Biggie Smalls) or comic book hero (Method Man); whether the name is self-imposed (Big Baby Jesus) or God-given (Kanye West and Tupac Shakur didn’t really have a choice, now did they?) you know when you’ve heard a good rap name. And just as certainly, you know when you’ve heard a bad one. We count down the 10 worst.
10. Del tha Funkee Homosapien
If a Precious Moments figurine could rap, this would be its name. For starters, as if the word “funky” doesn’t convey safe, non-threatening fun already, Del had to up the cuteness factor by spelling it “funkee.” As for “homosapien,” it’s hard to find a nerdier word. You do have to give him credit for being brave enough to be a rapper with the word ‘homo’ in his name. You’ve got to assume that doesn’t do well in battles.
9. Kenn Starr
There’s no way this guy’s name is actually Kenn Starr. So you have to assume that he chose it solely so he could name his first album, “The Starr Report,” which is possibly the lamest gimmick of all time. Good job, genius. You put out a mix tape named after a congressional report on a dude lying about getting a blowjob.
8. Swollen Members
Apparently looking like the child molester from Little Children and the brainy dude from A Different World wasn’t lame enough for these guys, and so they decided to give themselves a name that sounds like the AIM screen name of a 12-year-old from New Jersey with a bad sense of humor. Other names they considered: Tha Erecshunz, Mornin’ Wood, Hard-Onz, Da Penis MCs.
7. 8,000 Way Tie: Irv Gotti, Yo Gotti, Big Gotti, Don Gotti, Juan Gotti, Bazooka Joe Gotti, etc.
First of all, have some originality. Second, if you’re going to steal someone’s name, there are tons of cooler criminals to choose from than a dude from Queens who died in jail of throat cancer.
50-year-old white journalist trying to come up with a pithy way to describe a rap album? Nope, this is an actual rapper’s name.
5. Da Bush Babees
When Da Bush Babees saw how cute these little guys are, they knew they had to ditch their original name, Da Sleepy Panda Bears, and go with this one.
4. Messy Marv
There’s really no good way to spin this. If you’re so messy that it can be considered your defining characteristic, is that really something to brag about? And if you’re really committed to the whole alliteration thing, and using the awful name Marv as an anchor, can’t you think of some better M words? Marvelous Marv? Masta’ Marv? Magnificent Marv? You could even be hard and go with Murda Marv. Hell, be funny and use Starvin’ Marvin. Anything is better than what you’ve got now.
3. Chali 2na
Not only is he named after a fish, but after a fish that’s a mascot for canned tuna-in effect, a sellout fish who gets paid to convince people to eat his family.
Is he actually a paperboy, delivering newspapers, perhaps as a sly cover for his door-to-door yayo business? Or does he mean that he’s a boy who is always out making that paper? Or is he a boy that’s made out of paper? Or is he some sort of second-rate superhero with the power to control paper? Whichever way you cut it, his name sucks ass.
1. Shorty Shitstain
“Mom, I finally met a man! Yes, well actually, he’s an artist. A rapper. His name? Oh, um, did I tell you he drives a Honda? It’s really nice. Oh, his name, sorry, I lost track for a second there. Hey did you see Lost last night? No, I’m not changing the subject. OK, fine mom, I’ll tell you. It’s Shorty. Shorty Shitstain. There, are you happy? Now go ahead, judge him like I knew you would.” A Wu-Tang protégé, Shorty looked at the self-effacing charm of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s name, and took it about three shades too depressing.
For more bad rap names check out Cracked.