Name checking the biggest stars in hip hop

How some of our URBN favourites earned their names

Our URBN nights have rightly gained a reputation that’s made MAD Abu Dhabi number one among the nightclubs in Abu Dhabi for fans of hip hop and rap. And our world-class DJs on the decks would be the first to admit that the artists they play – along with our always up for it crowd – are what make our nights so special. Having enjoyed incredible live performances from the likes of Tinie Tempah, Ty Dolla Sign and Kid Ink, we were keen to get to know the inspiration behind some of the hottest names on the URBN scene …

Ty Dolla $ign
“My homie Ace just started calling me ‘Dolla Sign’ every time he saw me so I named myself Ty Dolla $ign because you know, I’m young and I’m rich.”

Ne-Yo
The American star’s name is derived from the character Neo in The Matrix after his producer friend Big D Evans told him “You see music like Neo sees the Matrix.”

Waka Flocka Flame
“I’ve got a Fozzie [bear from The Muppets] chain, because when I was younger, me and my cousin used to watch it and he started calling me ‘Waka’ [after Fozzie’s catchphrase].” Rapper Gucci Mane later added the ‘Flame’.

Snoop Dogg
The laid back rapper was nicknamed ‘Snoopy’ by his mother when he was a child.

French Montana
“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 [U.S.], the name French just kind of stuck with me. Then the Montana thing I just picked it up [from Scarface’s] Tony Montana.”

A$AP Rocky
A$AP stands for Always Strive And Prosper, while Rocky is the nickname his mother gave him growing up. Even cooler, his real name is Rakim, named after the legendary rapper.

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