Listomania: The Five Best and Five Worst Alter Egos in Music

Tonight, groundbreaking experimental rapper Kool Keith will be gracing The Loft with his presence.

And we're hella stoked.

Not only is the rapper one of our favorites, but his skill set is undeniable and his advancements in the "horrorcore" and "porncore" genres are fairly irrefutable. Plus. he's just plain fascinating -- a real wild-card.

Hey, what else would anyone expect from a man with so many alter egos?

While time-traveling as Dr. Octagon, then masquerading as Octagon's eventual murderer, the serial killer Dr. Dooom, and then performing as the fan favorite Black Elvis, Keith's somehow managed to put out innovative records under each of his personas.

So, in honor of tonight's visit from the king of the split personalities, we thought we'd take a moment to list both our top five and bottom five alter-egos. Check out the lists after the jump.

The Five Best Alter Egos in Music

5. T.I./T.I.P.
Feuds are nothing new in the rap world (Biggie vs Tupac, Fitty vs Kanye, etc.) but, in 2007, T.I. became the first rapper to feud with himself. On his concept album T.I. vs T.I.P., the rapper opted to tack on the extra consonant to his moniker in order to rap as both the smooth businessman T.I. and the grittier, street-friendly T.I.P. Each has their own portions on the album, but it's the four tracks where the two personas go at it that makes it a worthwhile listen.

4. Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana
This alter ego concept worked so well on the television show that Cyrus' Disney handlers decided to give it a spin in real life. Cyrus has released albums as both personas and has even opened for herself on tour. It's definitely not the coolest persona on the list, but as both are so equally well known, it is arguably (as difficult as it is to admit) the most successful.

3. Eminem/Slim Shady
Eminem is undoubtedly one of the most successful rappers of all time, with much of the credit going to his wildly popular/offensive Slim Shady personality. While Em uses his real name to rap about serious, more personal issues, he'll readily whip out Shady any time a celebrity needs dissing. It also makes for a handy excuse -- i.e. "Oh, it wasn't me who was bashing those gays, it was totally Slim Shady."

2. Gene Simmons/Demon
Simmons' fire-breathing, blood-spitting Demon character is not only one of the best live performance concepts ever conceived -- earning his band the nickname 'The Hottest Show on Earth' in the process -- but one of the best marketing strategies as well. For anyone crying foul on this one, just go back and take a gander at how disinterested Gene looked during the 'Unmasked' years.

1. David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust
When Bowie reemerged in 1972 as the ostentatiously androgynous spaceman Ziggy Stardust, he not only dramatically impacted the course of his career, but he left a permanent impression on the visual and artistic aspects of music and performance to boot. The concept album and concert film released during this period are considered some of the most adored of all time.

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Dave aka Kid Vengeance
Dave aka Kid Vengeance

I'm not so impressed with this list. Your favorite "alter egos" are all the least compelling - more or less vague ideas that offered an opportunity for the singers to tackle slightly different subject matter. Kool Keith, on the other hand, and CERTAINLY David Johansen adopted true other personalities, which played a fundamental, and often narrative roles in music and persona.

I guess I'm a little touchy about this, cause I took this idea to an extreme on a concept album I did recently with my friends. It's a Spaghetti Western concept rap album that tells a complete narrative from the points of view of three outlaw cowboys in the old west. You can download it for free at - and you can see some real commitment to a concept!


very ugly flyer. does sober ever change his style? its getting stale yo!


good post, here's some locals for ya:Phil Hennison/Homer HendersonJim Heath/Rev. Horton Heatdon't know what faux means, but I'm all for it


there are too many lists on this website. faux journalism.


No love for Black Francis/Frank Black?

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