Snoop Dogg became Snoop Lion. Sean Combs was Puff Daddy (nee Diddy) now P. Diddy. Mos Def now goes by Yasiin Bey.
It seems that a rite of passage for every successful rapper is a (confusing) change of name, but now one of the biggest acts of all in the rap game has made the most confusing moniker metamorphosis, as Pitchfork reports.
Appeasing grammar nazis and typo hounders everywhere, Jay-Z has changed his name by officially dropping the hyphen from his name (and kept the caps lock on to become) JAY Z.
Don’t believe the hyp(h)e(n)? The change is official, according to Billboard editor Joe Levy who stated that the hyphen drop came via his record label Roc-A-Fella, as he revealed on twitter:
Breaking: Jay Z has dropped the hyphen from his name, according to his label. I am not kidding. (Wish I was.) Copy editors: take note.
— Joe Levy (@RealJoeLevy) July 18, 2013
Billboard has already made the (in)significant change in all articles mentioning Jay, as SPIN points out. Additionally the rap and business mogul’s music is now listed on iTunes as JAY Z, while his official website is billed as JAY Z’s Life + Times.
Some detractors claim that the rap superstar dropped the hyphen years ago with the release of his Kanye West collaborative album Watch The Throne; perhaps people were confused by the artwork for Jay-Z, sorry JAY Z’s (old habits…), Magna Carta Holy Grail, which was revealed in an exhibition alongside the real life Magna Carta, and featured a giant hyphen on the cover.
Hova’s (or is that H.O.V.A now?) punctuation shift for his twelfth studio album follows a string of music media stirring for the artist formerly known as, including being pipped to the #1 position on the ARIA Albums Chart in its opening week by a contestant from The Voice.
Magna Carta Holy Grail may have prompted the RIAA to change its Gold and Platinum certification rules in light of the 1 million copies purchased by Samsung in a $20 million deal, but the Nirvana-referencing, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce-featuring blockbuster album wasn’t enough to match the commercial pull of The Voice winner Harrison Craig.
Over in the US, Magna Carta Holy Grail also made a huge splash on Spotify, as Forbes reports, charting the biggest first week streams and one-day streams for an album in the history of the streaming service. JAY Z’s (getting the hang of it now) latest had over 14 million streams on Spotify, beating previous records held by Mumford & Sons, Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake, and his Watch The Throne partner Kanye West.
The ARIA and Spotify results proved that even though Magna Carta Holy Grail leaked online ahead of its official July 9th release date, angering smartphone users already disgruntled with the not-so-smooth Samsung app launch, it did little to hurt album sales.
It’ll likely do little to hurt JAY Z’s net worth either, with a line from Magna Carta calling out rappers who lie about how much money they’re worth prompting a Forbes report that went and proved just how accurate the rapper’s jibes were.
If you’re confused by the JAY Z technicality, we recommend you wind down with the Huffington Post‘s brilliant obituary to the now-dropped hyphen.