Where did the baby name Jadakiss come from in the 1990s?

The Jadakiss album "Kiss Tha Game Goodbye" (2001)
Jadakiss album

The unusual name Jadakiss appeared in the U.S. baby name data from 1998 to 2003, reaching peak usage in the year 2000:

  • 2004: unlisted
  • 2003: 5 baby boys named Jadakiss
  • 2002: 18 baby boys named Jadakiss
  • 2001: 23 baby boys named Jadakiss
  • 2000: 31 baby boys (and 13 baby girls) named Jadakiss
  • 1999: 5 baby boys named Jadakiss
  • 1998: 6 baby boys named Jadakiss
  • 1997: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Raspy-voiced rapper Jadakiss (who was born Jason Terrance Phillips in New York in 1975).

He began his career as a member of the hip hop group The Lox. The trio’s first widely-heard song was “We’ll Always Love Big Poppa,” which was the B-side to the Grammy-winning 1997 single “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans. (Both tracks were tributes to The Notorious B.I.G.) The Lox’s most successful song, “Money, Power & Respect,” reached #17 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in May of 1998.

Curiously, by the time Jadakiss-the-rapper kicked off his solo career in 2001, Jadakiss-the-name was already on the decline. In fact, Jadakiss’ two biggest hits, “Why” and “U Make Me Wanna,” both came out in 2004 — the year the name dropped out of the SSA data entirely.

So how did Jadakiss come to have his stage name?

I just got it from some of my peers. Really one guy named me that. He didn’t even name me. He just called me [Jadakiss] by mistake and I was smart enough to experiment with it. I took it and ran with it cause I was looking for a name at the time anyway.

This reminds me of the story behind the name Eliantte, which also evolved from a mispronunciation.

What are your thoughts on the name Jadakiss?

Sources: Jadakiss – Wikipedia, The Lox – Billboard, 15 Questions with Jadakiss – Harvard Crimson, SSA

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