Hip Hop: What’s in a Name?

In anticipation of Hip Hop Hat Trick, I have been listening to a lot of Wale, Jason Derulo, and DJ Earworm’s music. While hip-hip usually isn’t my go-to genre, I have found that I like it their music a lot more than that I thought I would. However, it has also led me to raise a couple of questions about the importance of an artist’s name…

  • Why does Jason Derulo say his name at least once in all of his songs? It is nice when you are listening to the radio because we all know that radio DJs never say the name of the artist or the song, but why does he say it in the album copies of the song? Clearly if I have taken the time to buy your CD or find you on Grooveshark, clearly I know it is you who is singing, you don’t need to keep reminding me. 

  • 2. DJ Earworm is Jason Roseman’s stage name. Wikipedia informs me that he chose the name playing off of ‘a song that is always stuck in your head.’ DJ Earworm performed under his real name for quite some time before he developed his stage name, so my question to him would be how on earth do you get people to start calling you ‘DJ Earworm’? I mean, I know that when people get married, and their last name changes, you have to adjust, but those people are not famous DJs or have the option to go by their real name or stage name. Also, when it is proper to use your stage name versus your real name? Clearly your family calls you by your real name, but what about if you are making a business deal, do you refer to yourself as DJ Earworm or Jason Roseman?
  • 3. As for Wale, all I need to say is… “Yeah, they keep saying whale, but my name is Wale” and “my name is Wale, don’t say Wall-E”

Don’t forget to come and see Hip Hop Hat Trick, featuring Wale, Jason Derulo, and DJ Earworm, on Friday, April 23rd. Doors open 6:30pm and the show begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are still available at the Warren Hall Box Office and online at upb.jmu.edu

– Audrey Redford