Which rapper has had the most stage names?
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Which rapper has had the most stage names?

Stage names are a crucial part of an artist’s identity and tell you a lot about the person behind the mic. Whether the name references their temperament, their nationality, or even their wealth, a lot can be inferred from a rapper’s moniker.

MCs and hip-hop collectives often have name and lineup changes. Some more than others. The legendary Wu-Tang Clan was initially known as the Force of the Imperial Master. Following this, RZA changed the group name to the All in Together Now Crew before they settled with the moniker we all know.

Billionaire artist Jay-Z started out as a local rapper named Jazzy, Kendrick Lamar was K.Dot, and Big Fendi pushed Nicki Minaj to alter her original moniker, Nicki Maraj, to as a way to increase the Pink Friday rhymer’s sex appeal. Irrespective of status, almost all MCs have tried and tested stage names before they struck gold.

Although MCs go through name changes (usually early in their career), some have more than others. Concerning hip-hop, many believe that MF Doom had an unusually high number of name changes. The late rapper went under names such as Zen Love X, King Geedorah, Metal Fingers, Viktor Vaughn, Madvillain, DANGERDOOM, and JJ DOOM.

However, it is widely considered that Ol’ Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan has had the most stage names of any rapper, with over eight. The Brooklyn native, often referred to as ODB, has been known as Ason Unique, Joe Bananas, Dirt McGirt, Dirt Dog, Osirus, Big Baby Jesus and The Old Dirty Chinese Restaurant.

The late emcee, Ol’ Dirty Bastard (real name Russel Jones), was an incredibly striking figure who profoundly impacted hip-hop during his life. He played a pivotal role in launching the Staten Island collective into the mainstream with their 1993 debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

Jones brought dark humour, dynamism and a vigorous edge to hip-hop with his distinctive half-rapped, half-sung delivery. And his grimy, gritty, unfiltered nature is most likely what contributed to the “Dirty Bastard” element of his stage name.

You can see Jones playing his alter-ego, Ason Unique, in the video below.