The Rap Name Generator

Your Rapper Name

Need to improve your flow? Want to impress the crowd with a scorching MC name? Are you ready to bust a mike as the latest hot rapper to hit the streets? Then make your own name with The Rap Name Generator!

  1. Choose how to get your rap name

  2. Choose your rap name gender

About The Rap Name Generator

About The Rap Name Generator

Simply enter your first and last name into the form and the rap name generator will create a name for your based on your own name. If you choose the random name option, you'll get a different name every time you click. Roll the dice, or choose a bespoke rap identity that's based on your own name. Which way will you go?

From early pioneers like DJ Hollywood, DJ Kool Herc and Rakim to legends like Grandmaster Flash, Chuck D, the Wu-Tang Clan and The Notorious B.I.G., having the right kind of punchy, attention-grabbing name as a rapper is an absolute must. Artists like Childish Gambino have actually used online generators to choose their rap names, so if you want to craft a persona that's going to set the hip-hop world ablaze, why not give it a shot?

The Birth of Rap

Rap as a musical form dates back to the 1970s, but its roots go back far, far further. While the word 'rap' has been commonly used since the fifteenth and sixteenth century (usually meaning 'to hit') and evolved into a popular slang word in the black community in the 1950s and 1960s (where rapping meant someone was talking or having a conversation), the form is also linked to the griot tradition which dates back thousands of years into African history. The tradition revolves around local storytellers, usually based in small villages, who would tell stories about their families or recent news, with music playing as they talk. This tradition was carried over by the many Africans sold into slavery in America, and participatory singing – usually in a 'call and response' structure, with a song leader singing a line and the rest of the audience singing out the response – became a firm part of black culture as it evolved in the early twentieth century.

While aspects of rapping were already starting to form in black culture during the 1960s and the early 1970s – especially through Jamaican Sound System culture, which created a thriving group of 'disc jockeys' like Lee 'Scratch' Perry who pioneered dub music – it was 1973 when the rap revolution truly began. Jamaican-American DJ Clive Campbell started hosting parties at a local recreation room in the Bronx, New York, running them with his sister Cindy, and playing them under the name DJ Kool Herc.

Here, he utilised two turntables in a way that allowed him to isolate the 'break' of a song – taking a relatively short, percussive section that was usually favoured by dancers and then stretching it out to upwards of five minutes simply by 'looping' between two versions of the same record. The dancers who'd accompany these breaks were called break-boys and break-girls, usually shortened to 'b-boys' and 'b-girls',  with their specific dance moves soon christened as 'breakdancing'. Soon Campbell had enlisted a friend of his, Coke La Rock, to be a master of ceremonies (or 'MC') for the parties, shouting out encouragement to the crowds to carry on dancing.

Without realising it, DJ Kool Herc had laid the first proper foundation of hip hop culture – Coke La Rock is widely recognised as being the first rapper, and the resulting popularity built gradually across the 1970s in America, with block party after block party discovering and expanding upon the world of rap. Hip-hop was widely seen as revolving around four prime ingredients – a rapping MC, a DJ on the turntables, b-boys and b-girls performing breakdancing moves, and lurid graffiti writing.

As the culture flourished in the inner cities DJs like Grandmaster Flash (along with his accompanying MCs The Furious Five) and Afrika Bambaataa also appeared on the local scene in New York, creating their own parties and sound sytems and adapting DJ Kool Herc's foundational rap elements into their own style, leading to 1979 when the mainstream finally started to take notice.

Names of 1970s Rap Artists

  • Afrika Bambaataa
  • Sickle Cell and Rhapazooty
  • MC Rock
  • Lady B
  • Joe Bataan
  • The Fatback Band
  • Funky Four Plus One
  • Kurtis Blow
  • Jocko
  • Eddie Cheba
  • Steve Gordon & The Koshers

The first rap song to get a commercial release was King Tim III (Personality Jock) by the Fatback Band – a track that was originally dumped as a b-side, but which eventually earned an a-side re-release – but the song that truly showed the arrival of rap was a fourteen-minute epic performed by a group from Englewood, New Jersey who were assembled together by husband and wife team Joe and Sylvia Robinson, the heads of the recently-formed Sugar Hill Records. The Sugarhill Gang were Michael 'Wonder Mike' Wright, Henry 'Big Bank Hank' Jackson and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien, and 'Rapper's Delight' was the song – and while it remained their only hit in the US, it was also a mainstream smash that ignited the popularity of rap music and opened the floodgates for everything that was about to follow.

With the release of the Roland TR-808 electronic drum machine in 1980, the sound of rap and hip-hop continued to evolve, giving DJs ever-more creative ways to blend records together. Another technological innovation was digital sampling, giving artists the ability to paste together chunks of sound – and while sampling had been first pioneered by the dub music artists of the Jamaican 1960s scene, it was in the world of hip-hop that sampling truly flourished. These two elements came together in Afrika Bambaataa's release 'Planet Rock' in 1982, which utilised the Roland TR-808 and also sampled 'Trans-Europe Express' by Kraftwerk, and is widely regarded as the first fusion of hip-hop and electro, as well as the spark that truly lit the fuse of hip-hop's mainstream success.

As rap continued to gain success, the earlier party-oriented rap tracks began to be replaced by more socially conscious and political rap songs like 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, which went on to have a major influence on artists like Public Enemy. In the early 1980s, rap and hip-hop were still looked upon largely as fads that would pass quickly, but the subculture showed no signs of going away, gaining footholds especially once the rise of MTV gave increased prominence to music videos. Influential record labels like Def Jam were founded and soon started building a major reputation, and with the arrival of artists like Public Enemy, Run-DMC, and the Beastie Boys, it soon became clear that hip-hop and rap were here to stay.  

Names of 1980s Rap Artists

  • Planet Patrol
  • The Fearless Four
  • LL Cool J
  • Cold Crush Brothers
  • Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew
  • Mantronix
  • Chuck D
  • Schoolly D
  • Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three
  • Debbie Deb
  • Queen Latifah
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff
  • Ice Cube
  • KRS-One
  • Man Parrish
  • The Fresh Prince
  • Eric B & Rakim
  • MC Shahn and Marley Marl
  • Ad Rock
  • Mike D
  • MCA

Towards the end of the 1980s, rap music was gaining an ever-greater prominence, both with more commercial artists like MC Hammer and edgier performers like Ice-T (whose second album 'Power' became one of the first to carry a 'Parental Advisory' label). A distinct divide was rising up between the East Coast rappers, largely based in New York, and the West Coast rappers coming out of LA, and this divide was sharpened further by the arrival of N.W.A. with their album 'Straight Outta Compton'. Pushing the politically-oriented rap of Public Enemy even further and depicting the harshness of life on the streets, N.W.A. massively boosted West Coast rapping and were also responsible for setting off the rise of the controversial gangsta rap subgenre (already pioneered by artists like Schoolly D and Ice-T), celebrating the 'gangster' lifestyle and often pushing the limits of what was deemed acceptable music content.

N.W.A. member Andre Romell Young, aka Dr Dre, went on to found Death Row Records, which pushed gangsta rap to incredible heights of success in the early 1990s and massively raised the profile of West Coast rappers like Tupac Shakur, while the East Coast also enjoyed an upswing in popularity via the arrival of groundbreaking artists like the Wu-Tang Clan, as well as producer and rapper Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs and his label Bad Boy Records.

The resulting rise of Bad Boy and its star rap artist The Notorious B.I.G., aka Christopher Wallace, also raised tensions with the West Coast-based Death Row Records, with a feud occurring between The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur that rapidly turned violent. Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996, and Wallace was similarly killed in a shooting a year later in 1997. Both deaths cemented gangsta rap's violent, crime-ridden image, but the controversy surrounding also boosted rap music's commercial success beyond any previously seen levels, along with unexpected genre fusions such as the rock/rap crossbreed Nu-Metal showcased by artists like Limp Bizkit and Rage Against The Machine.

Names of 1990s Rap Artists

  • Snoop Dogg
  • Jay-Z
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Cypress Hill
  • Method Man
  • Gang Starr
  • Naughty By Nature
  • 50 Cent
  • The Fugees
  • House of Pain
  • Arrested Development
  • 2 Live Crew
  • Vanilla Ice
  • Nas
  • Ice Cube
  • Eminem
  • Mos Def
  • Busta Rhymes

By the 2000s and beyond, rap's rise was unstoppable, and hip-hop culture was truly mainstream, fuelled by the continued success of artists like Dr Dre, Eminem, and especially Jay-Z, who went on to become a major-league entrepreneur at the same time as beating Elvis Presley for the record of most number-one albums on the Billboard chart . The weirder, more alternative edges of hip-hop (often previously explored by artists like De La Soul) now experienced a distinct return through the work of Outkast and Mos Def, while the late 2000s saw the first sci-fi concept EP release from female rapper Janelle Monae, and the arrival of genre-mashing Sri Lankan singer and rap artist M.I.A.

A downturn in the late 2000s driven by low sales and the growing tide of piracy led some to suspect that rap and hip-hop might have had its day, but the rise of idiosyncratic and egotistical rapper Kanye West proved that this was far from the case. New technology also opened up new possibilities for artists, with hip-hop performers like Drake, Kid Cudi and The Weeknd building their initial profile through the medium of free online mixtapes. With more and more artists rising to prominence thanks to streaming outlets like SoundCloud (including Playboi Carti, Post Malone and XXXTentacion), it's hard to predict where rap and hip-hop culture is going to go next – but whatever happens it's going to be provocative, loud, and seriously attention-grabbing.

Names of Rap Artists – 2000s and Beyond

  • Drake
  • Lil Wayne
  • Common
  • DMX
  • Ludacris
  • Nelly
  • The Game
  • Missy Elliot
  • Big Boi
  • Ghostface Killah
  • Redman
  • Lil' Kim
  • Timbaland
  • T-Pain
  • Eve
  • Xzibit
  • Gucci Mane
  • Ja Rule
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Childish Gambino
  • Mac Miller
  • Ab Soul
  • Run The Jewels

Further Reading

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