Why Do Rappers Use "Lil" In Their Names ? With Examples

Why Do Rappers Use "Lil" In Their Names With Examples

Rap is a phenomenal movement that has swept over current music. It has grown in prominence over the last four decades and will continue to grow as new rappers arrive on the scene.

The nickname "Lil" is a relatively new popularity among new rappers.For different reasons, several rappers add "Lil" into their names. However some attribute the stage name's popularity to modern culture trends, "Lil" has origins in African American history and culture and is frequently motivated by societal aspects rappers address in their songs.

As rap and hip hop culture were primarily influenced by minority groups, it is not surprising that most of the nicknames used in hip hop today include a racial component. This is particularly true of African Americans and their culture. Nicknames are one of the oldest traditions that have been passed down through the African American community.

Providing descriptive nicknames for family and friends was a frequent topic in early African American society.

The origin of these descriptive nicknames may be traced back to the phrase "golla," which means "from Africa." Golla was a typical nickname used to denote someone's race before their name.

Many societies used racially suggestive names, but African Americans were the most popular. While African American culture evolved, they added many additional descriptive adjectives to the front of people's names. Colors, personality qualities, and size were among them.

Many young African American boys came to be referred to as "Little Tim," "Little Joe," or "Little Pete." Big and tiny phrases were passed down down the generations outside of family and acquaintances. These names were also frequently used by gangs. Within these gangs, members were given nicknames.

For instance, if one of the gang members was extremely erratic, the other members may refer to him as "crazy." If Crazy took a young person under their wing, they would be known as "Big Crazy" and "Little Crazy."

The nickname "little" was often applied to someone based on their likeness to other gang members or even being connected to someone in the gang.

Although gangs are often seen negatively, both minority and majority members are credited with keeping the phrases "big" and "small" alive so that they may be employed in hip hop culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Given the prevalence of these nicknames, it's no surprise that so many rappers use some variation of "small" in their stage names.

Rap and hip hop was founded and heavily inspired by African American culture. Many artists adopted nicknames that they had previously been given as stage names.

The name "Lil" became slightly sensationalized as hip hop grew and more musicians of many colors began their careers in rap. It got so popular that it became a source of mockery.

Unfortunately, many musicians merely use the moniker "Lil" because it is popular and stylish. However, this should not be used to dismiss the term's rich history and context.

Other lesser-known and recognized, influence on the word "Lil" stems from social perceptions of what is deemed "large." Beginning approximately 2006, there was a general skepticism of all things "large."

People began to have issues with Big Banks, Big governments, Big Pharma, Big businesses, and a variety of other entities that appeared to be far too huge and powerful to be fair to the average American.

Small communities, small businesses, and small everyday individuals you knew and trusted appealed to people. People sought solace in the fact that they were secure from exploitation in these tiny groups. Rappers began to acquire moniker ideas from this antitrust concept.

Although this is not the most prevalent explanation for the name "Lil," it is something to examine when the term "Lil" is evaluated outside of a racial or fashionable context.


Lil Durk :

Lil Durk's stage nickname was inspired by his father's real-life nickname. His father's name is Dante, but he was known as Durk for short. Durk was his father's nickname, thus he was called after him. When he began singing as a homage to his father, he adopted the stage name "Lil Durk."

Lil Uzi Vert :

When he first appeared in the hip hop world, Lil Uzi Vert was just known as "Vert." He didn't have the idea to add to his stage name until he was already on the red carpet. On the red carpet, someone said that he "rapped quickly, like a Lil uzi," referring to the machine gun. Ever since he has gone under the stage name Lil Uzi Vert in honor of his incredible speed.

Lil Baby :

When he was younger, Lil Baby spent a lot of time with the "older heads." When he didn't answer his mother's calls, she went out to check on him. His older buddies teased him, calling him "baby" since his mother was constantly checking on him. The name stayed, and became "Lil Baby."

Lil Tjay :

Lil Tjay, 18, sings as well as raps his street tales. His melodic sensibility and emotional honesty express what it's like to be a youngster in New York, where you're forced to grow up quickly. His instantly recognized vocals and expressive lyricism are best embodied in his track "F.N.," where beautiful piano brings Tjay's poignant observations to life. True 2 Myself, his debut album, has this and other somber piano ballads, putting him at the forefront of hip-youthful, hop's melody-driven culture.

Lil Kim :

Kimberly Denise Jones, better known as Lil' Kim, made quite an impression on fans when she first appeared on the music scene in the 1990s. The rapper launched her debut album "Hard Core" and continued to make outstanding songs for years.

Lil' Kim became considered as one of the pioneers of rap music for women due to her music style. Despite the fact that her music was quite successful, the rapper was not the only one in the rap scene. She's had feuds with Nicki Minaj and Foxy Brown throughout the years.

"Lil" developed in African American culture and was then carried on by many races associated with gang culture before being taken to hip hop to become a rap moniker sensation.

It's difficult to tell whether the "Lil" trend is about to fade and die, or whether it's just the beginning of a long line of "Lil's" to come.