Most of us didn’t get to choose our names. However, a select group of exceptionally talented individuals did get to pick what they go by — and quite a few opted to integrate the same distinctive word.
For decades, “Lil” has been synonymous with some of the most iconic figures in the Hip Hop world. Whether they connected the word to their size or just liked the way it sounded, incorporating it into their names meant they had big shoes to fill.
While the term might be a part of their moniker, everything they do is big. Big hits, even bigger success and the biggest responsibility of all — standing out among the sea of “Lils” in the Hip Hop game.
Check out our list of rappers with “Lil” in their names below.
1. Lil Wayne
With a career that spans decades, Dwayne Carter has defied what it means to be a legend in the industry. Since he was a kid, Lil Wayne has used his undeniable wordplay, undying consistency and chart-topping capabilities to remain at the forefront of Hip Hop. Many refer to him as the greatest of all time, and he surely makes it hard to dispute those claims.
2. Lil Baby
Born Dominique Armani Jones, Lil Baby has quickly become one of the biggest names in Hip Hop. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the Southerner took the industry by storm in 2017. After being released from prison, he dropped his mixtape Perfect Timing, and the rest was history. His ability to paint his street life in lyrics and effortlessly rip any beat has made his career skyrocket.
3. Lil’ Kim
Known for her seductive charisma and hardcore lyrics, Lil’ Kim has been a force to be reckoned with since the ’90s. The New York native is often credited with paving the way for female rap artists, as she came on the scene when men dominated the industry. Nonetheless, her determination and unapologetic attitude led her to success despite being an industry minority.
4. Lil Durk
Deriving from Chicago, Illinois, Lil Durk has made a name for himself by detailing the lifestyle he once lived. His gritty lyrics usually find themselves on hard-hitting beats, which solidify his spot as one of the top drill rappers. However, his talent doesn’t stop there. He’s proven to be diverse as he works on an array of beats and collaborates with artists across different genres like country and R&B.
5. Lil Jon
Jonathan Smith’s impact on Hip Hop does not go unnoticed. In the 2000s, he helped introduce the world to crunk music. He hopped on beats that were filled with energy and used his unique voice to deliver dance music that would become a staple in the club scene. He has, without a doubt, influenced a plethora of artists after him.
6. Lil Nas X
In 2018, Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, became an overnight superstar. His single “Old Town Road” garnered him plenty of attention, thus catapulting his career. He got a feature with country artist Billy Ray Cyrus, and the record is now 17x Platinum. Since then, Lil Nas X has maintained popularity with his music, performances and social media presence.
7. Lil Uzi Vert
Symere Woods was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their unique style of emo rap and trap has made them a standout artist among others. Not only are they praised for their melodic lyrics and intense delivery, but Lil Uzi Vert also makes bold fashion choices and has an unmatched stage presence.
8. Lil Yachty
Lil Yachty, born Miles McCollum, gained traction during the SoundCloud era in the mid-2010s. The Georgia native’s vibrant personality and raspy voice on popular songs carried his popularity into the next decade. He has solidified his spot in the music industry by working with iconic figures, creating hit records of his own and writing rhymes for other artists.
9. Lil Tecca
Born Tyler-Justin Anthony Sharpe, Lil Tecca is a young star on the rise. The Queens, New York native gained popularity with the 2019 release of his single “Ransom.” Since then, he has created many meaningful projects, growing his fanbase by millions.
10. Lil Tjay
Lil Tjay, whose real name is Tione Jayden Merritt, hails from South Bronx, New York. His creation of songs like “Pop Out” and “Calling My Phone” have fueled his notoriety. Lil Tjay’s listeners praise him for his ability to flow on melodious beats and rhyme about an array of topics.
11. Lil Mosey
The Seattle-raised artist is known for his distinctive style of rap. Born Lathan Moses Echols, Lil Mosey has proven to have major versatility. His record “Blueberry Faygo” caught mainstream attention in 2019. Since then, the rapper has continued to release music that shows off his unique talents.
12. Lil Keed
Lil Keed was an Atlanta-based rapper signed to Young Thug’s Young Stoner Life Records. The artist, born Raqhid Render, had a distinctive voice, which he rendered over fast-paced beats. Lil Keed passed away in May of 2022 from natural causes due to eosinophilia, according to PEOPLE.
13. Lil Bibby
Coming from Chicago, Illinois, Lil Bibby, born Brandon Dickinson Jr., is known for portraying street life in his lyrics. He began rapping professionally in 2011 but decided to take another route in the music industry. He founded his label, Grade A Productions, in 2017, and has created avenues for other artists to explore their talents.
14. Lil Reese
Lil Reese is a Chicago artist who has had influences on the drill industry. Born Tavares Taylor, the rapper is widely known for collaborating with other Chi-Town natives like Chief Keef, Lil Durk and G Herbo. Despite getting shot in the neck in 2019, Lil Reese’s career remains afloat, proving that nothing can stop his passion.
15. Lil’ Troy
Lil’ Troy is best known for his single “Wanna Be a Baller.” Released in the late ’90s, the record became an anthem in the South, as Lil’ Troy hails from Houston. His contribution to Texas’ rap scene remains prevalent, making him a nostalgic staple.
16. Lil Twist
Lil Twist, born Christopher Moore, was only 10 years old when he released his first song. In 2010, he was signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money. His rap career includes collaborations with Busta Rhymes, Justin Bieber, Soulja Boy and more.
17. Lil Peep
Lil Peep, originally Gustav Elijah Ahr, was known for blending his emo personality with the Hip Hop scene, creating emotional music for the masses. Tragically, Lil Peep passed away in November of 2017. According to Rolling Stone, the 21-year-old died of an accidental overdose due to fentanyl and Xanax.
18. Lil’ Fizz
Lil’ Fizz’s talents extend far beyond music. Widely known for being a part of the popular teenage boy group B2K, Lil’ Fizz has ventured into other areas of entertainment. From creating a name for himself in music to premiering on reality television, the NOLA native has many titles under his belt.
19. Lil Boosie
Formerly known as Lil Boosie, Torrence Hatch has played a pivotal role in the music industry. Praised for his Southern-style music and storytelling abilities, the rapper is one of the most resilient in the game. Despite battling cancer and beating a murder trial, the Louisiana-born star is still devoted to being unapologetically himself.
20. Lil’ Romeo
Raised by the industry legend Master P, Lil’ Romeo, who now goes by just Romeo, was destined for greatness from the beginning. He began putting out music in the early 2000s and slowly transitioned into acting. Whether he’s playing the protagonist in a movie or hosting a game show, Romeo knows how to conquer the world of entertainment.
21. Lil’ Bow Wow
Shad Moss reached stardom at the age of 6. Working with producers such as Jermaine Dupri as well as talents like Xscape and Snoop Dogg made his success story as a child prodigy one for the Hip Hop history books. While music isn’t his forte anymore, Bow continues to help other young artists excel.
22. Lil Scrappy
Darryl Kevin Richardson, known as Lil Scrappy, is one of the liveliest acts to come out of Atlanta, Georgia. He made a name for himself by laying his vulgarness and hardcore lyrics across bass-thumping beats. His talents have propelled him to becoming a regular on the hit reality show “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.”
23. Lil Pump
Gazzy Garcia, better known as Lil Pump, quickly achieved virality with his song “Gucci Gang.” The Miami rapper’s catchy hooks and energetic manner were what keep his fans begging for more. His cadence has allowed him to work with artists like Kanye West, Kodak Black, Tee Grizzley and more.
24. Lil Dicky
Born David Burd, Lil Dicky is a comedic rapper known for his cunning wordplay and amusing approach. With songs like “Save Dat Money” and “Freaky Friday,” the Pennsylvania-born rapper breaks the rules of modern-day tracks. Aside from music, he also acts in the Hulu series “Dave.”
25. Lil Mama
Lil Mama took over the airwaves in the 2000s when she dropped “Lip Gloss.” The New York rapstress captivated fans with energetic performances and a unique style. Beyond music, Lil Mama, born Niatia Kirkland, has landed numerous acting gigs and displayed her dancing abilities to the world on “America’s Best Dance Crew.”
26. Lil Xan
Lil Xan, whose real name is Diego Leanos, appeals to a diverse crowd. His combination of emo and Hip Hop makes him a relatable artist among others in the industry. Lil Xan uses his laid-back energy and introspective lyrics to evolve the world of contemporary rap.
27. Lil Skies
Coming from Pennsylvania, Lil Skies’ music appeals to listener’s emotions. The rapper, born Kimetrius Foose, uses slow-paced beats and feeling-infused lyrics to tug at his fans’ heartstrings. His blend of rapping and melodic sounds has made him increasingly popular.
28. Lil’ Flip
Gaining prominence in the early 2000s, Lil’ Flip, born Wesley Weston Jr., is known for his hits “Sunshine” and “Game Over (Flip).” The Southern rapper greatly contributed to the genre of Hip Hop during that era. Still passionate about the art, Lil’ Flip continues to drop music.
29. Lil Wyte
Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, Lil Wyte gained recognition for his contributions to Three 6 Mafia. His tough lyricism and unapologetic persona fueled the birth of his solo career. Records like “Oxy Cotton” and “My Smokin’ Song” greatly appealed to those who had been following him since his debut.
30. Lil B
Known for his affiliation with the group The Pack, Lil B, born Brandon McCartney, is a rapper, producer and content creator. His eccentric music style helped him pursue a successful rap career. Furthermore, his alter ego, BasedGod, has garnered him a lot of supporters on the internet.
31. Lil Snupe
Lil Snupe, whose real name was Addarren Ross, was an up-and-coming rapper. Determined for success, Lil Snupe gave Meek Mill his demo while he was sitting inside of a van. About 20 minutes later, he got the call from the rapper that ultimately launched his career. The Louisiana native began touring with Meek and eventually got signed to Dream Chasers Records. Unfortunately, in June of 2013, Lil Snupe was shot and killed in Louisiana.
32. Lil Debbie
Lil Debbie, whose real name is Jordan Capozzi, gained recognition for being a part of the rap group White Girl Mob. Her West Coast style of rap came in handy when she decided to launch her solo career. The California-born artist has gone on to collaborate with Juicy J, RiFF RAFF and more.
33. Lil’ Zane
Lil’ Zane gained notoriety in the early 2000s with his hit “Callin’ Me.” His smooth delivery and effortless flow helped him reach great heights in the industry during the era. Aside from rapping, he has also had a successful acting career. He has appeared in movies like The Fighting Temptations and Dr. Dolittle 2, along with television shows like “The Parkers” and “One on One.”