An unfortunate trend in hip hop music lately has been adding symbols to rap names. New hip hop artists like Joey Bada$$, A$AP Rocky, Curren$y, and others have all helped to support this new naming movement. But, before you start your rap career and choose your stage name, I would highly advise you to steer clear of adding any symbols or characters to your rap name. Here are a few reasons why it is not a good idea.
1. Google Search
This is the biggest issue when placing symbols in your name. Google doesn’t recognize symbols well. So, searching for new music from A$AP Rocky and ASAP Rocky will end up with different search results. Websites also don’t allow $, %, #, *, !, or @ signs in URLs. So a web post about Joey Bada$$ will end up reading as rapsite.com/joey-bada This is not a good look and will reduce the amount of new fans you may get from search. If your rap name is Joey Bada you are most likely getting extra fans just because of this issue with dollar signs in Joey Bada$$’s name. Don’t sacrifice a potential percentage of your fanbase because you aren’t properly represented on Google and the Internet. The majority of people Google names without symbols in them, simply replacing the symbols with the letters of the alphabet they are meant to represent.
2. It Makes Marketing & Promotion Difficult
Adding a symbol to your name makes it harder for people to describe you and share your music and brand with others by word of mouth. Think about it, when people talk about Joey Bada$$, A$AP Rocky or Curren$y, nobody mentions the dollar signs. They say their names as if the sign was the letter “s.” After someone talks about you and your music to someone, that person is most likely to Google you. This brings us back to point #1. Make it easy to be found on Google.
3. Metadata Issues With Major Digital Stores
The Internet runs on metadata. Websites share data all the time and selling data is actually a big business online. In terms of the digital MP3 and music platforms like iTunes, Spotify, MOG, Amazon, Google Play, and others all make use of shared metadata for artists listed in the stores. They don’t like symbols in their data and often having a symbol in your name only makes things more confusing and often creates duplicates in reporting. Why make things difficult for the stores that are selling your music?
Also, in my honest opinion, the whole symbols in the name fad is over and getting really corny and slightly childish. Kind of like adding “Lil” before your rap name. I would suggest always using your real name as your artist/stage name. This conveys the message that you are who you are and you speak the truth.
Written by Jesse Janson for Get Right Music