Rap monikers are a necessity in hip-hop. The stories of the origins of rappers' names are sometimes entertaining and other times surprising. Either way, a number of artists who obtained underground success via SoundCloud before they dominated the Billboard charts or amassed countless streams on DSPs have recounted how they came to have the names that helped to popularize their brand.
Before there was Lil Uzi Vert, the North Philadelphia rhymer went by the name Sealab Vertical while in the group Steaktown back in 2010. However, after deciding to take music seriously, the 26-year-old rapper did a name change. Lil Uzi Vert comes from the way someone he knew described the former 2016 XXL Freshman's rap flow. They likened it to a fast machine gun. In 2016, Uzi said that the friend who's responsible for his rap name has no clue that they came up with the moniker his fans know and love.
When Playboi Carti was first making noise on SoundCloud in 2011, he was going by the name Sir Cartier, a moniker that stemmed from his allure to the opulent things in life. He changed his name to Playboi Carti in 2013, but the sentiment of living the lifestyle of the rich and famous remains the same.
Before Juice Wrld became a massive artist, the Chicago native was inspired by the Tupac Shakur-starring movie Juice when deciding on what he wanted the music world to call him. During an interview with Big Boy x Fuse, Juice Wrld explained that ’Pac, Soulja Boy and MC Juice are all responsible for helping him come up with the name Juice Wrld.
XXXTentacion's rap name has a significant meaning. During an interview with Miami's 103.5 The Beat back in 2017, he explained why he chose this moniker. X explained that his name is a hybrid between the unknown and the Latin word for temptation. He also added that his name has three X's due to his past obsession with watching adult films.
Find out the origin stories of several other SoundCloud era rap stars below.
See the Origin Stories of Names of Rappers From the SoundCloud Era