Where the name Mission Man came from

From time to time I get asked where the name Mission Man comes from, so I decided to answer it here.

Short version: When I was 17, I was looking for a name that would show I was on a mission to change the way people saw hip-hop.  I now think that’s arrogant, and I am simply on a mission to keep doing what I love.

Long version: I was 17 in 1996.  At the time, gangsta rap was huge.  The lyrical content of hip-hop was often degrading to women, violent, and arrogant.  This was never what hip-hop was about for me.  I always loved groups like Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Sugarhill Gang, etc.  My first ever rap album was Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest.  It was on cassette.  I loved the fun they had, and the self-expression they put into their music.  To me, “The Message” will probably always be the best hip-hop song ever made because it really brought attention to social problems, while being very self-expressive and honest, and the music is still fantastic.  The song has also been sampled by countless artists, most notably Ice Cube.

Once mainstream hip-hop became dominated by gangsta rap, it received a ton of negative publicity, causing a large portion of Americans to immediately connotate rap with violence and degradation of women.  I simply wanted to change the American psyche back to believing that hip-hop was first and foremost about self-expression.  I now think it’s arrogant to believe I could do that, for many reasons.  So, my mission now is simply to keep doing what I love.  That mission is challenging enough, and absolutely worth every difficult moment, as the rewards far outweigh the sacrifices.

As an anecdote, when I was narrowing down my name choices, I ultimately decided on Mission Man because it fell in between Method Man and Mo Thugs in the alphabet, both of whom were very successful at the time.  I thought that if someone was browsing the hip-hop section of a local record store, they’d have to come across my CD because of it.


Published by: Mission Man

I am a conscientious hip-hop musician, and have been rapping since 1992. I started playing drums, bass, guitar, and keyboard, in addition to producing my own music, starting in 1998. For full details, see the official website at MissionMan.net.

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