You Won’t Believe How These Rappers Used to Look

Kathryn Whitworth| March 30, 2015


As music evolves, it’s fun to see how our favorite artists have matured as well. Despite their kind of lifestyles, many of our favorite artists, especially rappers, make us wonder how they didn’t seem to have aged at all. Although most of them have graced with age, let’s take a look back at their looks, then and now:

Curtis Jackson, a.k.a. 50 Cent

50 Cent

Born and raised in South Jamaica, Curtis Jackson sold drugs at a very young age. Eventually, he left that life to pursue a career in music. He released a compilation album Guess Who’s Back in 2002. Soon after, he was discovered by Eminem and was signed to Shady Records, Interscope Records, and Aftermath Entertainment.

Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino

onald Glover first came to attention for his work as a writer for the NBC comedy series 30s Rock. In 2011, he began releasing self-titled albums and was then signed to Glassnote Records as Childish Gambino.


Chris Bridges, a.k.a. Ludacris


Born in Champaign, Illinois, Chris Bridges began rapping at the age of nine. He was among the first and most influential Dirty South artists to reach mainstream success in the early 2000s.


Sean Combs, a.k.a. Diddy or Puff Daddy

Sean Combs

Sean John Combs, also known as Puff Daddy, first worked as a talent director at Uptown Records. In 1993, he found Bad Boy Records and signed artists like The Notorious B.I.G. In the long run, he profited from the success of the artists he worked with and released his own debut album.


Andre Romelle Young, a.k.a. Dr. Dre



Andre Romelle Young, popularly known as Dr. Dre, is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. He has produced albums for many rappers and artists, such as Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and Eminem.


Aubrey Drake Graham, a.k.a. Drake


Born in Toronto, Ontario, Audrey Drake Graham or Drake, first gained recognition for his performance on the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation as Jimmy Brooks. He rose to fame as a rapper, when he released his own mixtapes, including Room for Improvement.


Marshall Bruce Mathers III, a.k.a. Eminem


Marshall Bruce Mathers, also known as Eminem, is a solo artist, a member of the hip-hop duo Bad Meets Evil, and a member of the group D12. He rose to fame in 1999 after he released his second album The Slim Shady LP. Now, he has sold over 45 million albums already, making him the hip-hop artist of the United States.


O’Shea Jackson, a.k.a. Ice Cube

O Shea Jackson

Better known as Ice Cube, O’Shea Jackson is a record producer, actor, filmmaker, and rapper, who was a member of the group N.W.A. He later left on December 1989 to build a successful career in films and music. As of 2014, he has sold over 55 million records worldwide.


Jermaine Cole, a.k.a. J Cole

Jermaine Cole

Jermaine Cole or J Cole first gained recognition after releasing his debut mixtape The Come Up. He was called by Jay-Z in 2009 to sign him in his record label Roc Nation.


Shawn Corey Carter, a.k.a. Jay-Z

Shawn Corey Carter

Jay-Z is among the most successful entrepreneurs and hip-hop artists in America, with an estimated net worth of almost $520 million. He became known to the world after being featured on the 1994 album of Big Daddy Kane, Daddy’s Home.


Kanye Omari West, a.k.a. Kanye West

Kanye West

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Kanye Omari West is a songwriter, record producer, director, fashion designer, and rapper, who rose to prominence as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records. He gained recognition as a rapper for his performance on Jay-Z’s sixth studio album, The Blueprint.


Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, a.k.a. Kid Cudi

Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi or Kid Cudi moved to Brooklyn, New York to pursue his dreams of becoming a rapper. He rose to prominence after releasing a mixtape titled A Kid Named Cuddi. It caught Kanye West’s attention, prompting to sign him up directly to GOOD Music record label.


Jonathan Smith, a.k.a. Lil Jon

Jonathan Smith

A former member of the group Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, Jonathan Smith released his first solo album in 2010. It was titled Crunk Rock and featured a number of artists, including LMFAO, Ying Yang Twins, R. Kelly, and Soulja Boy.


Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., a.k.a. Lil Wayne


Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., or Lil Wayne started gaining recognition as a member of the hip-hop group Hot Boys. He debuted as a solo artist in 1999 after the release of his album Tha Block is Hot, which was certified platinum.


Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, a.k.a. Lupe Fiasco

Wasalu Muhammad Jaco

Otherwise known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco, Wasalu Muhammad Jaco rose to prominence after the success of his debut album, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor. He is noted for his interviews and music that expresses anti-establishment views.


Melissa Arnette Elliott, a.k.a. Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott or Melissa Arnette Elliott is a record producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper, who first gained mainstream success as a songwriter along with his childhood friend Timbaland, working on projects for Aaliyah and SWV. It was in the late 1990s, when she began expanding her solo career as a rapper, selling more than 30 million records in the United States.

Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., a.k.a. Nelly

Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.

Better known by his stage name Nelly, Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. began his music career as a member of the hip-hop group St. Lunatics. In 2000, he embarked on a solo career with his debut album Country Grammar. It is his best-selling album to date, selling more than 8.4 million copies in the United States.

Onika Tanya Maraj, a.k.a. Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, Onika Tanya Maraj or Nicki Minaj first gained public recognition after the release of her three mixtapes between 2007 and 2009. She eventually signed a recording contract with Young Monkey Entertainment. Soon after, she released her debut studio album Pink Friday, with chart-topping single Super Bass.


Pharrell Williams, a.k.a. Pharrell

Pharrell Williams

Simply known as Pharrell, Pharrell Williams is a singer, record producer, fashion designer, and a rapper, who is the drummer and lead vocalist of the hip-hop band N*E*R*D*. Along with Chad Hugo, he makes up the record production duo the Neptunes. His first debut solo album In My Mind was released in 2006.

Dana Elaine Owens, a.k.a. Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

Better known as Queen Latifah, Dana Elaine Owens is considered as one of hip-hop’s pioneer feminists. She is known for her songs that covered topics, including harassment on the streets, relationship problems, and domestic violence.

Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., a.k.a. Snoop Dogg

Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.

Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., better known by his stage name Snoop Dog, began his music career in 1992 when he was discovered by Dr. Dre. His debut album was released in 1993, Doggystyle, which topped the Billboard 200 chart.


Will Smith

Will Smith


As a rapper, Will Smith first achieved mainstream success in the late 1980s under the name “The Fresh Prince”. His popularity drastically increased when he had his own television series in 1990, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. From television, he moved to film, starring in various blockbuster movies, such as Men in Black and Wild Wild West.

Cameron Jibril Thomaz, a.k.a. Wiz Khalifa

Cameron Jibril Thomaz

Better known as Wiz Khalifa, Cameron Jibril Thomaz became known to the public for his debut single Black and Yellow. It ranked number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Over the years, these artists have paved new roads and reinvented styles in the world of hip-hop. Even though not all of them dominated the charts and radios, they are still making waves. And, regardless of their looks and lifestyles, they continue to become something much bigger compared to what they were before.




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