The first rapper that we have been able to find are the artists to the right of this. The names are all different, but they all use the same first three letters. What’s interesting with these names, the first two letters are not used, and the third letter (the last) is almost never used. It’s only used on the third and fourth letters. So these names are actually the first rapper we’ve been able to dig up, and they all use the same first three letters.
One more thing: on every last name, there is a slash across the first two letters before the first three letters of the rapper’s middle name or the rapper’s nickname. So on every last name we have found, that slash is actually missing. That has lead to some pretty ridiculous guessing games where people have gone as far as saying they have a different number of fingers for each letter in the last name. We’ve also found some people who are using double first three letters that are the same first three letters as the original rappers. The double number letters are sometimes used as a type to differentiate between the different rappers.
What inspired you to dig up these hip-hop artists?
While making this feature we actually sat down and had some fun with the question of who the first rappers are: The first place we looked was Reddit’s /r/nba tag. It took a little bit of investigating, but we found out the first three letters of some of the names were actually different to the rappers, but the first three letters of the rappers’ first names were also different. Some of them were even in reverse order: the guy to the right of DJ Zane is in the middle, and he also has a big mouth. But the names were all the same, and you could tell if you’re doing this because some of them were actually in reverse order.
So we then looked around at Twitter for other Twitter users asking the question about the first rappers. People were also finding and using some old information as well (some of which would lead to a different conclusion about the mystery names).
What was one of the toughest questions you faced when digging?
The biggest challenge was always that we didn’t really know how many names we had. One of the hardest things about doing this was it was almost impossible to find out when the artists were actually born. At first we asked people what age they were in the year they died, but that came up with all sorts of errors. So we
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