The right name for you should 'click' inside you the moment you hear it! You can influence yourself with the names of rappers you like, but of course the best is to be original. For example, you can find inspiration by considering your current life and your past. There is no magic way to finding a stage name, but strive to find one that represents your personality. You can change it along the way, unless you get famous quickly, but then you probably won't want to change it …
Part 1 of 3: Finding an impactful name
Step 1. Find a name that matches your style
The ideal is that your name expresses your origins and represents your musical style. Ask yourself what message you want to get across. Do you want your name to make you think you are smart, dangerous, skilful, creative, quick…? Start by thinking about your identity.
Analyze the names of rappers in your area. What message are they sending? What is their rap style? It's best not to copy anyone, but it's important to consider the style of music you're making and the audience you want to reach
Step 2. Use your real name as an inspiration
You can for example change the first letter or move all the letters of your name to create a new one! Your stage name could look like your real name, but be more original in order to stand out. Let your creativity express itself …
- You certainly know Eminem. Did you know that this stage name comes from his real name Marshall Mathers? Eminem is based on his initials M and M (M in M, in meaning "in" in English).
- Lil Wayne's real name is Dwayne Michaël Carter. He simply removed the D from Dwayne who became Wayne!
Step 3. Think about your childhood nickname
Snoop Dogg's mom gave him the idea for his stage name! When he was a kid she called him Snoopy (a character from the Peanuts) because he liked this cartoon a lot and so she started calling him Snoopy… When Snoop started raping he chose to using his childhood nickname to have a unique stage name, but directly related to him.
Part 2 of 3: Find inspiration
Step 1. Try a name generator
There are many name generators on the internet, but did you know that there are some that are specifically aimed at finding a rapper name? You don't have to use the exact name a generator gave you, but it can give you ideas! You can always transform any generator name you like.
You can also try online quizzes that tell you what your "personality" is after you answer a few questions. The answers might surprise you and give you unexpected words
Step 2. Get inspired with your life
Think about your childhood, such as a place you loved or a word that impacted you. Your name can also be related to something current in your life, for example it can reflect your lifestyle. You are looking for a name that represents your personality, your identity; don't forget that for your audience, they will really represent “you”!
Step 3. Ask your friends
Talk to your friends, family, or other musicians and ask if they have any ideas. People who know and see you often have an image of you. It is possible that they give you a word which for them is related to your personality! It may help you find your name …
- Just tell them "I'm looking for a good rapper name, do you have any idea?" You can also ask them what words come to mind when they think of you.
- Think about the way you rap and write lyrics. How do you find the words that come to your mouth while doing freestyle or how do you write your texts?
Step 4. Influence yourself from a rapper you admire
Obviously, if you like P-Diddy, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to call yourself “C-Diddy”… You can, however, examine how the names of your favorite rappers are constructed. How many syllables do they have? What sound do they have? Ask yourself why their name suits them so well and do some research to find out how they chose their stage name!
Part 3 of 3: testing your stage name
Step 1. Place it in a song
Once you have one (or more, better) name that you like, test its sound and analyze if it is pleasant to listen to over and over again. Replace the first word of a song with this name to hear how it sounds. It could be one of your songs or a song by another artist. If you are talking about yourself in text, use that stage name and not "I." Your name should be catchy, the best is that people can remember it very easily.
Record yourself and then listen to the song several times a day. Do you like to hear this name? Do you like the way it sounds? If the answer is yes, that is a great sign. This is probably the name for you! Play the song to your friends and then ask them what they think of the name… Please, no doubt, shed a small tear and look for another
Step 2. Feel free to use multiple names
Your name may consist of just one word, but it may not be enough to represent your personality and style. The ideal is to have “one” stage name, but you can create different versions while singing. You certainly know that Eminem sometimes talks about him using “Slim Shady” (slim means thin and shady suspicious, sleazy, shady, scornful, weird…) to represent the dark side of his personality.
Step 3. Ask for help
If you're having trouble finding a name you like, ask your friends, family, or other musicians for advice. You don't have to choose the first name they come up with, but it can help by giving you ideas. When you've found a stage name you like, don't hesitate to ask them for their opinion.
Step 4. Remember that nothing is final
The best way to know if something is working is often to try it… If after a while your name doesn't appeal to you, you can change it…
- Try the piece of paper in a box method. Write a different syllable on lots of small pieces of paper and put them in a big box. Stir it then take 2 or 3 pieces of paper at random, put them in front of you and watch the result …
- Pick a name you have no doubts about. If you become famous, your final stage name will stick to your skin for a long time… Unless you are P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Diddy Dirty Money, Diddy or Snoop Lion!
- Don't be ashamed of using a name generator. Famous rappers (like Post Malone) have done it before you. There is no reason to feel bad doing this.