Top 10 Artists Whose Names Would be Dumb…if They Weren’t Famous


Celebrities and the obsession with celebrities is such an interesting phenomenon. We scrutinize them, analyze them, and dehumanize them, either making them demons, or deities. But what we do more than anything, when it comes to our sunglassed saviors, is forgive them. We forgive them for their misnomers and absurdities. We forgive them for their negligence and opulence. But most of all, especially in the music world, we forgive them for their otherwise crappy monikers. This list isnt really the “top ten.” I mean, there was no way to pick ten, and put them in order simply because there are thousands of band names constructed with corn and cheese. But I chose ten just so that we’d all having a starting place. Feel free to add on.

10.) Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy. (Sigh) If he wasn’t one of the most powerful moguls in music, would we really respect a man that called himself “Diddy?”

9.) On that note, Notorious B.I.G. Let’s think about this for a sec. First he was called “Biggie Smalls,” an oxy-moronic, Dick Tracy character, name. And then he he and Diddy went digging through a thesaurus for something a bit more treacherous after the whole Biggie Smalls thing landed Chris Wallace in court (apparently everyone wants to be Biggie Smalls.) The “Notorious” name ended up working because the Brooklyn emcee became the biggest (no pun intended) rapper alive. And…he became Notorious due to the east/west beef, and ultimately his untimely death. But he had not been who he was, his name would’ve been lackluster, and far from helpful. Not to mention, everyone wouldve wondered what the “B.I.G.” stood for. R.I.P. Notorious.

8.) Wu-Tang Clan. A group of impoverished Black kids form a rap group and name after Kung-Fu movies. Though hip-hop and Bruce Lee have always gone hand in hand, I think it’s safe to say (or maybe not so safe to say) these dudes are clearly the scariest geeks of all time…who don’t know karate.

7.) Ice-T/Ice Cube. Too easy.

6.) The Beatles. I know, I know. They were the best. I get it. And for the most part, I agree. But they named themselves The Beatles. Have you ever seen a beatle? Or rather a beetle? Nothing about a beetle is appealing, or frightening, or endearing…as a matter of fact, beetles are just beetles. And The Beatles are lucky they weren’t just Beatles…or they would’ve been, well, beetles. Spelled wrong.

5.) Snoop Doggy Dogg. Charlie Brown? Gangster?

4.) Jay-Z. The Jay means nothing. And the Z means nothing. Sean Corey Carter…

3.) Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sounds kinda gay.

2.) Eminem. This one almost made number one for me. Come on. Eminem? Like M & M? Like candy? Because your name is Marshall Mathers…M & M? To his credit, he knew better than to make it M & M (he would’ve been sued and lame), but still. Oh, and he’s WHITE…and named himself after chocolate candy. He’s so fortunate to have made it, and to shred so many people along the way. He’s like the dude named Frances in jail who stabs the crazy big dude for no reason at all. Who cares what his name is. Don’t mess with him. He’s insane.

1.) Lionel Richie. His REAL name is Lionel Richie.

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3 Responses

  1. Andrew hume says:

    Brooklyn bands should have a dumb name competition of their own. Grizzly Bear? Vampire Weekend? Yeasayer? Dragons of Zynth?

    The Beatles, on the other hand, is the coolest band name ever. A tribute to the post-Buddy-Holly Crickets, a pun ’cause John couldn’t resist, a shout out to Ringo and the rhythm section. Beatles was a huge upgrade on “Johnny and the Moondogs.”

    Thanks for starting the conversation.

  2. Jason Reynolds says:

    Andrew, very good point about the beatles, that I honestly did not know about. Thanks for the education.

  3. Jason Reynolds says:

    Andrew, very good point about the beatles, that I honestly did not know about. Thanks for the education.

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