Why do rappers use lil in their name? (The REAL explanation & 5 FAQs answered)

You’ve heard the name of a rapper with some use of the word lil in their name if you’re familiar with hip hop culture.

But have you ever asked yourself why that is?

Well we’re gonna attempt to understand why rappers use the word lil in their name.

Why do rappers use lil in their name?

Rappers use lil in their name as a reflection of a nickname that they were given, where they’re from of course. There’s hundreds of commercially successful rappers that coined the add-on to their name, but one thing can be agreed on, it’s a memorable milestone in the growth and development of hip hop culture.

It’s a common nickname in the streets

Did you know it’s short for the longer word little.

It’s also common for this nickname to be used in multiple cultures, specifically it’s traditional in American street gangs.

Rappers that use lil FAQs

Who is the most famous lil rapper?

If you look at the more established names that have a voice in the culture, they’re seemed to collectively agree the list goes:

  • Lil Peep
  • Lil Durk
  • Lil Bow Wow
  • Lil Nas X
  • Lil Yachty
  • Lil Tecca
  • Lil Pump
  • Lil Dicky

But my question is immediately “what about Lil Wayne?”

What about Lil baby?

The list is good but there just seemed to be some obvious names that were missing if we’re talking about 2023.

Who was the first popular rapper?

That would be Kurtis Blow, the first commercially successful rapper that also signed with a major record label.

How many rappers use lil in their name?

The unofficial number of rappers with that prefix in their name is 582.

I’m pretty sure that it’s only including commercially famous artists, but it seems right.

Why do rappers wear chains?

Chains for a rapper are very symbolic.

They’re used to show wealth, popularity and probably most important, success.

Who started the lil rap name?

After digging back, it’s discovered that the first artist that started using lil in their rap name was Lil Rodney Cee.

Final Thoughts

I think using lil in your name as a rapper was very fresh and put a clever staple on the culture that makes hip hop.

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