Ever wonder why rappers change their names so much? They're growing up. Cocky bastards that they are, the Jiggas and P-Diddys update their handles every so often to let the world in on even the minutest personal development. Fine, if it helps them cope. But don't expect Slim's or Marshall's or whoever's next LP to be any grand departure from the Eminem album that Jimmy Iovine paid for. MCs with nothing to lose, on the other hand—ones who, as De La Soul put it, "fell the fugghhh off" long before gold was the lowest acceptable sales standard—experience much more dynamic character arcs, emerging as if from behind Ricki Lake's curtains, wholly made over. When Kool Keith morphed into Dr. Octagon, he grew into his dirty old manhood. As Deltron 3030, Del came out of a drug-and-freestyle-induced haze an aging hippie, brooding over our planet's future. Now, hidden behind the Metal Face of Doom, a hip-hop Michael Stipe finds a new religion in... More >>>