Donald Glover, the Emmy Award-winning creator of "Atlanta," is also a rapper. His alias, Childish Gambino, can be traced back to using a popular online name generator during his sophomore year of college.
"I was like, 'you guys ... this is something big,'" Glover recalled to Jimmy Fallon. "I just really liked it."
Nicki Minaj was born Onika Tanya Maraj.
In an interview with the Guardian, Minaj said,"One of the first production deals I signed, the guy wanted my name to be Minaj and I fought him tooth and nail. But he convinced me. I've always hated it."
Belcalis Almanzar has one of the hottest songs of the year in "Bodak Yellow."
The reality-star-turned-rapper tweeted the origin of her name:
"My name is Belcalis. Growing up people called me Bacardi cause my sister (sic) name is Hennessy (sic) ..FYI."
Born Aubrey Graham, Drake is the Canadian-born rapper's middle name.
The Australian rapper first went by her birth name, Amethyst Amelia Kelly.
Her stage name came as a "two-part saga," according to the artist. Her dog was named Iggy, and Azalea was the street that her family lived on.
Cameron Jibril Thomaz told MTV that when he was growing up, he was good at everything, and people started saying "he's a young wiz."
He added that "Khalifa is Arabic for success or leader. And my granddad is Muslim, so he gave me that name."
Born Shawn Carter, Jay-Z was known as "Jazzy" growing up. He later changed his name to Jay-Z to honor his mentor, Jaz-O.
Rapper Tauheed Epps originally went by "Tity Boi" but changed to 2 Chainz to be more "family friendly," per a 2012 interview with SiriusXM's Shade 45.
Epps later told HipHopDX that the name also represents a "second chance."
Mathangi Arulpragasam has said that her stage name was inspired by a missing cousin.
"I wanted to make a film about where he was, since he was M.I.A. in Sri Lanka," Arulpragasam said in her 2012 autobiography. "I was also living in Acton at the time. So I was living in Acton looking for my cousin missing in action."
In an interview with New York-based media company Mass Appeal, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile said he chose his name at random.
Originally the Ear Drummers, the Mississippi rap duo decided to flip their name backwards to become Rae Sremmurd, according to an interview with XXL Magazine.
Waka Flocka Flame
In a interview with hip-hop news site HipHopDX, Juaquin Malphurs said his rap name comes from the animated series "The Muppet Babies."
"Yeah, I've got a Fozzie chain, 'cause when I was younger, me and my cousin used to watch it and he started calling me 'Waka,'" Malphurs said.
As for "Flame," he said that was added by fellow rapper Gucci Mane.
Willie Maxwell, famous for the single "Trap Queen," has a simple story behind his alias.
"Fetty is money. … Wap is from Gucci Mane's [nickname] Guwop," the New Jersey rapper said in a video interview.
At 14, Marshall Mathers began rapping as "M&M." The Detroit-area artist later changed his alias to Eminem.
In a 2003 interview, Curtis Jackson said his moniker "is a metaphor for change. … But originally it was a gangster from Fort Greene Projects named 50 Cent and I took the name when he passed."
The rapper has said that his nickname when he was younger was "Action." Plus, "Charles Bronson is my grandfather's favorite actor."
In high school, Quincy Hanley earned the nickname "Schoolboy" for his 3.3 GPA. The Los Angeles-based rapper decided to add the initial of his first name, according to an interview with Complex.
Atlanta-born Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn got his stage name from fellow artist G-Rock.
In a 2014 interview with NPR, Wilburn said: "He gave my name ... he was like, 'Man, you the future. Man, you the future.' Just stuck with the name."
Run the Jewels
Co-founder Killer Mike told Interview Magazine that partner El-P came up with the name: "It's an old LL Cool J line, which is dope."
El-P added that it was a "nod … to the era that made me and Mike fall in love with rap music."
Lil Uzi Vert
In an interview with Vibe, Symere Woods revealed the origin of his alias: "Some guy was just like, 'You rap fast, man. Like a little machine gun'."
Tyler, the Creator
Tyler Okonma, the co-founder of Odd Future, says his name became a necessity because he ran three different MySpace accounts; the one he used for his art and music was called "Tyler, the Creator."
Okonma added that he "did not plan this out at all."
Cordozar Calvin Broadus was given the nickname "Snoopy" by his mother.
In a 2008 Esquire interview, Broadus said he used to love "Charlie Brown" --- "Snoopy was my favorite cartoon character growing up. I watched so much, I started to look like him."
As a junior at the Pratt Institute art school, Ben Haggerty was given a graphic-art assignment where he had to name a superhero. He named his hero Professor Macklemore.
Moroccan immigrant Karim Kharbouch told AllHipHop.com in 2009:
"France had tried to take over Morocco, not in my time obviously, but there are still influences there from the French culture. So when I came over here, the name French just kind of stuck with me.
"Then the Montana thing I just picked it up ... plus I kind of bear a resemblance in the skin tone."
Nicknamed "Lu" by his mother, Wasalu Muhammad Jaco started using his stage name after he heard the song "Firm Fiasco" by the Firm, according to Rolling Stone.
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth has incorporated his middle name into his stage alias.
Early in his career, Miles McCollum was the youngest member of a group called the Yacht Club. The "One Night" rapper then started calling himself Lil Yachty, according to a 2016 radio interview.
Clifford Harris Jr. was nicknamed "Tip" by his mother, but a label-mate was already named Q-Tip. A music executive suggested T.I., according to a 2015 Esquire interview.