Shawn Corey Carter may not be as big or recognized as a name across the world. But hey, it will be difficult to come across anyone in the world who doesn’t know his stage name, Jay Z. Having a great stage name for your rapping alter ego really helps building your identity. At the same time, it might sometimes be confusing for some to know how to come up with a good name. Luckily for you, we’re here to help. So here are different tips and ways in which you can come up with a good rap name.

Your name has got game

Whatever rap name you come up with, it has got to be more than just really gangsta. Imagine yourself being introduced to the stage with that name. If you like the sound of that, you’re on the right track. But you should also be able to relate to it. Your name is as good a place to start as any. You could use shortened versions, anagrams of your own name or simply something that’s a combination of your first name and your last name. An anagram is basically a rearrangement of the alphabets in a word. You could also use anagrams of your favorite fictional characters, if that helps.

Give them a 100 percent reasons to remember your name

Don’t get carried away and complicate the stage name. It has to be something people won’t have trouble remembering or even pronouncing for that matter. The power of simplicity is often overlooked. T-Pain, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Busta Rhymes and Dr. Dre are good examples of how simple but creative monikers can work wonders. If you want to conquer the world, the world has to be able to remember you!

Do it for your peeps
If you know your specific audience group or the ones you intend to reach with your tracks, keep them in mind. Your work of art is anyway meant for the world to enjoy. So why not derive inspiration for your alter ego from them itself? Make notes of the interests of your potential audience, their age group, any behavioral patterns, any community or cultural patterns and try to incorporate that into your rap alias.

Remember your roots

This can be a great source of inspiration for you. Look within your culture, your ancestry, your heritage, your community and even your religion. Mythologies also help. For example, if you’re someone with Germanic roots, have a calm and peaceful personality, but are also the person everyone turns to and are a leader of sorts, A-Ing (Short for Alpha Ingram, where Alpha refers to leadership and Ingram pertains to the Norse God of Peace, Ing).

All about alliteration

Do it right, and you’ll get yourself a stage name that’s pretty tight! For those who are not familiar, alliteration is when 2 or more words start with the same alphabet or sound. For example: Tic tac toe. Now keep in mind this was just to explain the concept, it was not a suggestion for a rap name. Also, unless you’re thinking of names for a rap group, exceeding three words for your rap alias might not be the best idea. Just a word of advice there. Alliterations have a way of getting people’s attention, while having the quirky element to it.

Know the players

Imagine coming up with a kickass monicker and just when you’re building some street cred, you find out someone already has the same alias. That wouldn’t be cool at all. Which is why it’s good to first do a proper research on the web. Make sure it’s unique and there isn’t someone already out there who’s dropping beats and turning up the heat with an alias you fancy. So it’s good to know what’s going on out there and if there is any new fish in town.

Your entourage knows best

Take it from us, your gang knows things about you that you wouldn’t know yourself. They might be able to make you come up with something that fits your personality. For that matter, they could even give you the inspiration to come up with something yourself. And maybe, just maybe, that sizzling rap name you’re looking, might be hidden in the nicknames your friends and family have given you over the years.

With either of these tips and techniques, you should be able to pull together something smooth as your rap name. In any case, stay true to yourself and don’t forget, the best of rappers have had different stage names in their earlier years. But doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to come up with something you won’t have to change, right? Keep it real, take it easy and that cool rapper name you seek will come to you.

See also: How 7 Famous Rappers Picked Their Names