Rap mogul Jay-Z reportedly changed his rap alias a few years ago, quietly taking the dash out of his name after more than two decades with the same name.
While Hov has yet to confirm the news, reports of the name change surfaced Thursday (July 18).
Hova. Hov. J-Hova. Jay. Jay-Z. Jigga. Jiggaman: The Brooklyn-bred rapper born Shawn Carter has a lot of names. But now he’s tweaking his marquee moniker and dropping the hyphen from Jay-Z. Take note: Now it’s officially just Jay Z. Billboard editor Joe Levy broke the news on Twitter: “Jay Z has dropped the hyphen from his name, according to his label. I am not kidding.” Jay’s website is now billed as “JAY Z’s Life+Times,” and iTunes currently lists his music as “JAY Z.” Billboard has since dropped the hyphen from articles and charts mentioning the rapper’s name. Good timing, too, because Jay’s latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, is in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. So his new name, sans hyphen, is sitting atop the throne for the whole world to gaze at in its un-hyphenated glory. (FUSE TV)
A rep for Young Hov also revealed Jay has not used the hypen for the past three years.
We reached out to Jay’s publicist, Jana Fleishman, for a statement. She responded: “Dude..We haven’t used the hyphen since 2010..” This totally slipped under our radar. Even on iTunes, in the liner notes for Watch the Throne, and in promotion of Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay’s name has changed. (Complex)
Last month, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane talked about nearly switching up his rap alias.
“Originally I decided I was gonna call myself cause Gucci Mane cause that was my father’s name. His nickname was Gucci Mane. That’s what my grandmother called my father. People would call me Gucci Mane every now and then, but honestly, that was his name. But when I wanted to be professionally known as a rapper I said I wanna take the moniker Gucci Mane. But all the people in my hood, not even my closest friends but everybody in Atlanta, calls me Guwop. I didn’t start it. I can’t put my finger on how it spread. I know it started from my boys but then everybody who I collaborate picked up on it and they’d say it to me. Even girls in my life and my relatives started saying it. People close to me and people really in the know would say Guwop, so I thought it might be a good idea to push it, since everybody loves to say it so much.” (The FADER)
Last September, the artist formerly known as “Mos Def” spoke out on changing his rap alias to Yasiin Bey.
“I began to fear that Mos Def was being treated as a product, not a person, so I’ve been going by Yasiin since ’99. At first it was just for friends and family, but now I’m declaring it openly,” he said in an interview. “When my paternal grandfather passed a few years back, I started to wear a shirt and tie every day, like he did. Michael Jackson’s death had a big impact on me, too. Right before the Ecstatic tour in 2009, I began wearing loafers and high-waisted pants. And that’s where my look started. … Hip-hop is the last true folk art. I got involved with Ale et Ange because it represents hip-hop in a way that isn’t pandering. It’s nice to see something that’s elegant, skillful, and raw.” (GQ)