Kid Cudi was originally rapping under the moniker of Lil Scott.

Kid Cudi is well over a decade removed from his breakout mixtape A Kid Named Cudi and his cult classic debut album Man On The Moon: The End Of Day, but the Cleveland-bred artist is still managing to reach new heights so deep into his career. Roughly a week from now, the boundary-pushing artist will star alongside Ariana Grande, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, and Meryl Streep in the satirical science fiction comedy Don’t Look Up, and his fans can also expect two full-length albums in the new year.

To promote his upcoming film project, Kid Cudi recently paid a visit to The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, and during his interview, he revealed the origins of his stage name.

Kid Cudi attends Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man: No Way Home" Los Angeles Premiere on December 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

“My first rap name when I first started when I was, like, 15 was Lil Scott,” Cudi told Jimmy Fallon. “I just was a big fan of Lil Wayne at the time and we were, like, close in age so I was like, ‘Oh, this is a young dude doing his thing, that’s pretty cool.’ So it started off with Lil Scott.”

Opting for a stage name that felt more personal, Cudder drew inspiration from his birth name, Scott Mescudi. “I thought, you know, using my last name in some way would be cool so it ended up being Kid Mesc, the first half of my last name, right?,” he continued. “But people kept confusing it and thinking I was saying, like, Kid Mess. So that would really make me upset.”

The Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ artist finally landed on the perfect stage name when he was working on the intro to one of his early mixtapes. “Before the record, you know, how you get amped up and say your name, you say your rap name just to announce this is your record, right?” he said. “It went from ‘Kid Mesc!’ to ‘Kid Mescudi!

Watch Kid Cudi‘s full interview with Jimmy Fallon for The Tonight Show below.