November 15

1968 Birth of Ol’ Dirty Bastard

On November 15, 1968, a poverty-stricken couple in Brooklyn welcomed the birth of a baby boy whom they named Russell Tyrone Jones. This child would grow up to be a famous entertainer, but not under his birth name, for young Russell would, in his meteoric  career, ply his trade under various noms de musique: ODB, Ason Unique, Dirt McGirt, Joe Bananas, Dog Osirus, Big Baby Jesus, Ol’ Dirty Chinese Restaurant, and Knifey McStab – but it is when he employed the sobriquet Ol’ Dirty Bastard that he would achieve everlasting fame. Well, everlasting until his 2004 drug overdose death. He was much missed by his 13 children and employees of the New York justice system who came to know the engaging rapper through his numerous violations of penal statutes.

It is not unusual for aspiring entertainers to change their names. Archibald Leach became (quite understandably) Cary Grant; Lucille Fay LeSueur became Joan Crawford; and Doris Kappelhoff took the name Doris Day. Tammy Wynette was once Virginia Pugh; Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz. But no part of the stardust and glitter industry resorts to name changes as much as rap music. So hats off today to

Drake, born Aubrey Drake Graham

Eminem, once Marshall Bruce Mathers III

50 Cent, Curtis James Jackson III

Flavor Flav, aka William Jonathan Drayton Jr.

Lil Bow Wow, Shad Gregory Moss

Lil’ Kim, Kimberly Denise Jones

Lil Nas X, born Montero Lamar Hill 

Lil Peep, né Gustav Elijah Åhr

Lil Wayne, once Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.

Lil Yachty, Miles Parks McCollum

Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher George Latore Wallace

Puff Daddy, Sean Love Combs

Travis Scott, né Jacques Bermon Webster II

Wicca Springs Eternal, aka Adam McIlwee

YoungBoy Never Broke Again, or Kentrell DeSean Gaulden

Young Thug, Jeffery Lamar Williams

Yung Bruh, born Jazz Ishmael Butler

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