The five biggest hip-hop name changes
Artists do what they can to control their image, from their songs to their videos to their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. They hire publicists. They issue press releases. They give interviews. Sometimes, they even change their names in an effort to rebrand themselves, and sometimes these strategies work.
Case in point: Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs changed his name to P. Diddy in 2001 to try to distance himself from his 1999 club shooting (a case that he quietly settled just last year). Rapper 2 Chainz, who obviously loves his new name, never could have broken out the way he did if he remained Tity Boi. Snoop Dogg, meanwhile, says he would now like to be called Snoop Lion as he tries his hand at being a reggae artist.
Having already made a (quite successful) name change from Snoop Doggy Dogg to the much more succinct Snoop Dogg, Snoop probably figured he could get away with it again, no problem. But the idea of addressing Snoop Dogg as Snoop Lion just seems, well, dumb. Besides the fact that it is phonetically weaker than the powerful spondee "Snoop Dogg," Snoop Lion just doesn't make any sense.
Snoop decided on the change while in Jamaica recording with Diplo. He tells the story of visiting a Rastafarian temple, where he was stared down by a priest who told him he was the Dogg no more, "You are the light. You are the lion." Reasoning that he has conquered rap, a fact which no reasonable person can deny, Snoop wanted to begin anew, as "a kid again." Well, he's getting his wish, because that's about how seriously people are taking his new career path. Snoop's not alone in his rebranding efforts. Continue reading for five other significant hip-hop name changes.