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A good rap name is like good rap: it sounds effortless without coming off sloppy, and it never tries too hard. Whether its vibe is biblical (Hova), comic book villain (Biggie Smalls) or comic book hero (Method Man); whether the name is self-imposed (Big Baby Jesus) or God-given (Kanye West and Tupac Shakur didn't really have a choice, now did they?) you know when you've heard a good rap name. And just as certainly, you know when you've heard a bad one. We count down the 25 worst.

25
Lil' Scrappy

Unless you're a puppy who can somehow rap, this name does not work. Even if you're literally both little and scrappy, there are better ways to express it. Lil' Scrappy is really just a step away from Mr. Woofles.

24
69 Boyz

The geniuses behind the song "Tootsee Roll" supposedly named themselves after the fact that they were all born in 1969, but the sexual connotations aren't lost on anyone. Now, it's strange enough for a group of guys to define themselves by their mutual love of the 69 position. But throw in the hilarious possibility of a concert opening with the boast, "Yo, we 69 Boys, ya'll," and you've got yourself a pretty questionable name. (Also, if you have the time and the stomach for a trip down memory lane, check out the above video, in which the already questionably named 69 Boyz perform stripper dance moves on a stage full of men in matching outfits. It's fantastic.)
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23
Chamillionaire

Is he a millionaire who blends in with the rest of us? Or is he a millionaire that blends in with other millionaires because being rich is just so natural to him? Or perhaps he has a million chameleons? Or maybe he is a million chameleons who have joined together, combining their camouflage skills to appear as a rapper in order to take advantage of today's enormous market for bad hip-hop. Or perhaps he's only a tea millionaire with an enormous collection of fragrant, healing Chamomile teas. Either way, he's an idiot.

22
Bubba Sparxxx

First, he named himself after what we can only assume was his frat nickname at whatever Southern junior college he attended. Then, he threw in the triple X to give it just the right porn-site-where-you-can-go-to-watch-fat-people-have-sex vibe.
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21
Birdman

The above image of the badass cartoon character he named himself after really says it all.

20
Tie: Snow, Vanilla Ice, Young Black Teenagers

Everyone knows you're white, so why call further attention to it? At least Young Black Teenagers tried the irony route, although that might be even more pathetic.
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19
Kidz in the Hall

Now rap groups are taking their names from sketch comedy shows? What's next: Essenell? Mista Sho? These guys also get bonus sucking points for one of the MCs being named Naledge.

18
Dreddy Kruger

Rappers' interaction with cinema should be limited to quoting blaxploitation, gangster and kung fu flicks. Naming yourself after a character from your favorite almost-spooky movie isn't doing a lot for your street cred.
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17
Cunninlynguists

"Get it? Hee, hee, hee!" The only way there could be an acceptable excuse for a name this corny would be if the group consists of junior high school students and your uncle after a few drinks. Judging from the above image, they're neither, and judging from the song we heard on their MySpace page, they're not terrible, which makes a name this bad all the more tragic.

16
Noreaga

With an endless supply of infamous military leaders to choose from, this is who he picks-a CIA stooge who will probably live the rest of his life in prison. And it's not even spelled right. Is he worried the real Noriega will sue him for damages? Actually, that would be pretty awesome.
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15
Devin the Dude

Duuude. That word is entirely too reminiscent of Keanu Reaves to even use on a rap album, let alone as your name. Though the picture we found showing Devin the Dude in the middle of an enormous cloud of white smoke might go a long way towards explaining how he got his name.

14
Eminem

Who didn't think this was the wimpiest rap name ever when he first burst on the scene back in the '90s? Why would a guy who is perpetually angry at the world name himself after a tiny chocolate candy known for its adorable mascots? Yes, his initials are M.M., but that's no excuse. You don't see Tina Turner calling herself TNT. Actually, that's way better than Eminem. Maybe she should start rapping. Her albums already have hip-hop titles like "Simply The Best" and "Break Every Rule."
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13
Gnarls Barkley

Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse couldn't think of anything so they just stole their name from someone's fantasy basketball team.

12
Beelow

What does this even mean? Is he below everything because he's so underground? Is it a blow reference? Is he a bee that flies low, always searching for pollen? Maybe his name starts with a B, and there's a taller guy on his block who also has a B name. "Yo, where B at?" "B High?" "Nah, B Low." "Oh, he out sniffin flowers again in his mama yard."
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11
The LOX

Mmmmmm...lox. Lox is among the most smelly cold fish dishes, so that's, um, kind of badass sort of.

10
Del tha Funkee Homosapien

If a Precious Moments figurine could rap, this would be its name. For starters, as if the word 'funky' doesn't convey safe, non-threatening fun already, Del had to up the cuteness factor by spelling it 'funkee.' As for 'homosapien,' it's hard to find a nerdier word. You do have to give him credit for being brave enough to be a rapper with the word 'homo' in his name. You've got to assume that doesn't do well in battles.
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9
Kenn Starr

There's no way this guy's name is actually Kenn Starr. So you have to assume that he chose it solely so he could name his first album, "The Starr Report," which is possibly the lamest gimmick of all time. Good job, genius. You put out a mix tape named after a congressional report on a dude lying about getting a blowjob.

8
Swollen Members

Apparently looking like the child molester from Little Children and the brainy dude from A Different World wasn't lame enough for these guys, and so they decided to give themselves a name that sounds like the AIM screen name of a 12-year-old from New Jersey with a bad sense of humor. Other names they considered: Tha Erecshunz, Mornin' Wood, Hard-Onz, Da Penis MCs.
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7
8,000 Way Tie: Irv Gotti, Yo Gotti, Big Gotti, Don Goitti, Juan Gotti, Bazooka Joe Gotti, etc"¦

First of all, have some originality. Second, if you're going to steal someone's name, there are tons of cooler criminals to choose from than a dude from Queens who died in jail of throat cancer.

6
Rhymefest

50-year-old white journalist trying to come up with a pithy way to describe a rap album? Nope, this is an actual rapper's name.
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5
Da Bush Babees

When Da Bush Babees saw how cute these little guys are, they knew they had to ditch their original name, Da Sleepy Panda Bears, and go with this one.

4
Messy Marv

There's really no good way to spin this. If you're so messy that it can be considered your defining characteristic, is that really something to brag about? And if you're really committed to the whole alliteration thing, and using the awful name Marv as an anchor, can't you think of some better M words? Marvelous Marv? Masta' Marv? Magnificent Marv? You could even be hard and go with Murda Marv. Hell, be funny and use Starvin Marvin. Anything is better than what you've got now.
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3
Chali 2na

Not only is he named after a fish, but after a fish that's a mascot for canned tuna-in effect, a sellout fish who gets paid to convince people to eat his family.

2
Paperboy

Is he actually a paperboy, delivering newspapers, perhaps as a sly cover for his door-to-door yayo business? Or does he mean that he's a boy who is always out makin that paper? Or is he a boy that's made out of paper? Or is he some sort of second-rate superhero with the power to control paper? Whichever way you cut it, his name sucks ass.
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1
Shorty Shitstain

'Mom, I finally met a man! Yes, well actually, he's an artist. A rapper. His name? Oh, um, did I tell you he drives a Honda? It's really nice. Oh, his name, sorry, I lost track for a second there. Hey did you see Lost last night? No, I'm not changing the subject. OK, fine mom, I'll tell you. It's Shorty. Shorty Shitstain. There, are you happy? Now go ahead, judge him like I knew you would.' A Wu Tang protégé, Shorty looked at the self-effacing charm of Ol' Dirty Bastard's name, and took it about three shades too depressing.
Honorable Mention:
Cappadonna, Papoose, Magoo, Timbaland, CC Lemonhead, Busdriver, Yungstar
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