Rapper (and Spring Breakers star) Gucci Mane briefly changed his name to “Guwop” yesterday, before reneging thanks to an immediate Twitter backlash from fans. It’s not the first time a rapper’s changed monikers mid-career, or even the most dubious choice of nickname — though “Guwop” is certainly up there. Plenty of MCs don’t seem particularly attached to their chosen stage names; in fact, some of them even switch it up multiple times. We’ve compiled a list of rap’s most high-profile name changes and the reasoning behind them, from the perfectly reasonable to the totally bizarre.
Mos Def to Yasiin Bey
After a decade and a half of going by the pseudonym Mos Def, Dante Smith publicly declared his switch to Yasiin Bey, both on stage and in his personal life, in 2011. Bey told GQ that he’s actually gone by Yasiin among family and friends since 1999, out of “fear that Mos Def was being treated as a product, not a person.” Speaking to MTV, Bey explained further, “I feel I’ve done quite a bit with that name and it’s time to expand and move on. Also, I didn’t want to have to deal with having any moniker or separation between the self that I see and know myself as.” Sounds good to us.