Over this past weekend, I found myself in the unenviable position of having to defend a rapper that I truly couldn't care less about. And who would that rapper be?
And how did I end up having to defend he of "Shmoney Dance" fame? Well, while at a bar a conversation about current hiphop arose with the standard camps retreating into their respective corners, the true school hip-hoppers and the "current hip hop ain't that bad" camps. I tend to straddle that line depending on the argument. But that's not what this little talk here is about. One of the people in the "to the hip hip, the hop it don't stop, Das EFX is the real hip-hop" camp immediately said, "and what's up with their names nowadays, like, Bobby Shmurda?????? That's ridiculous."
Full stop. Now I alluded to this in a recent post so this conversation was right on time and so appropos.
I immediately pointed out to her that while we can argue about whether or not current hiphop sucks versus all of our favorites of the 90s, what she wasn't gon' do was clown any rapper for their name under some idea that rappers had names that made sense and were super reasonable during the golden era.
So of course I began to run down a list of rappers with names that if they weren't famous rappers, they'd get clowned relentlessly. I also pointed out to her that she was having a conversation with a grown ass man who calls himself Panama Jackson. On purpose.
Well here is a list of rappers whose names are, for lack of a better word, ridiculous.
1. Snoop Doggy Dogg
I've said this before and I'll say it again, this name is as ridiculous as they come. I love Snoop. Doggystyle will forever be one of my favorite albums, but Snoop Doggy Dogg has been and will always be a WTF name. Always. And yet, because he's Snoop it sounds like everything thats right with the world. Funny enough, I know people who think that Snoop Lion is a ridiculous name change. You know why? Because we've lived with Snoop Doggy Dogg for 20 years now so his name sounds like a regular one. And folks want to clown Wacka Flocka Flame????? Snoop is his spirit animal.
I don't care why he came up with the name. (I also argued that Q-Tip really isn't a good rapper though I remember an actual argument in college where niggas wanted to put Q-Tip in their Top 5 Rappers Alive arguments. What the shit were they listening to?) It's not a dope name. Period.
3. Ice Cube
Do you all realize that for a a solid 3 years, a Black man named Ice Cube was possibly the scariest man in America? Somehow, nooooooooooobody ever thought it was ridiculous. I never once had a single conversation with anybody that was like, "hey you know the name Ice Cube really is kind of stupid." Nope. Cube it is.
4. Crunchy Black
Okay, nobody is exactly out here thinking about him in any conversation about hip-hop, but if I have the choice between the name Bobby Shmurda (which I actually think is a dope name since I haven't said so yet) versus Crunchy Black, I'm going the Shmurda route everyday, b. Mostly, I wanted to remind everybody that he has an Oscar because he was part of Three 6 Mafia when they wont he Oscar. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
I don't care what you say, Fabolous is a dumb ass name. First off, it's an adjective. Names shouldn't be adjectives, homey. Not without something to modify. But hey, I'm just the dude who just named himself Lightskint Victorious so what do I know? He may be a great rapper, but he was not the father of a dope name. Ludacris however IS a dope name. I know I contradicted myself, look I don't need that now.
7. The Game
He might be the owner of the stupidest name ever. What game? Milton Bradley? Parker Brothers? The rap game? The crack game? They say the rap game is really just like selling dope. The girlies is free, cuz the crack cost money…oh yeah. Who knows, but "The Game" is nowhere near a good name. And yet because he's a good rapper, we let that shit slide to the point where folks talking about Game without even a hint of, "did I really just call a person 'Game'?"
8. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
Yes. All of them. Krazy. Lazy. Flesh. Wish. and Bizzy. They sound like the damn dwarfs hanging out with Snow White. Yet I remember arguing about who the best Bone was. Pause. Anyway, their names. Ridiculous. Totes.
9. Melachi The Nutcracker (from Group Home)
Amazingly, Melachi's name isn't actually Melachi (it's Jamal), which makes it even weirder. But "The Nutcracker" is what makes it art. Bad art. To be fair, nobody really likes him as a rapper and only people who are true heads even really remember Group Home as a group much less the individual rapper names. However, possibly the world's worst rapper also has one of the most ridiculous names. That, my friends, is livin' proof.
10. Mr. Cheeks
Who doesn't love this dude? I love him. You love him. Hell, The Lost Boyz are one of my favorite groups from the 90s. However, Mr. Cheeks is a crap ass name. Well, as a "real" name anyway. If it's a nickname for a nickname then it works.
Just to be clear, Trugoy aka Dave aka Plug Two…is YOGURT spelled backwards.
That's my list. What you got?