When Flo Rida was growing up, he had aspirations of becoming a rap superstar. But the aspiring MC knew he would have to introduce himself to the world of hip-hop in a big way. On the latest episode of “When I Was 17,” which also features actresses Melissa Joan Hart and Alison Sweeney, the 31-year-old star reminisces about his teenage years and reveals how he came up with his all-too-recognizable stage name.
Before skyrocketing as a solo artist, Flo (born Tramar Dillard) was a part of a rap group. But even then, he knew he had to create an identity for himself that would let him stand out within the band.
“When I was 17, to be a part of a group like the Groundhoggz, you definitely have to come up with a name,” the MC recalls.
Flo Rida, who was going by a different name in those days, explains that one of his friends urged him to come up with a new alias.
“At first, I was going by the name of Ruckus Pimp,” Flo recalls. “I just thought that was like a little bit out there, so I went to over to my boy’s house. He’s just like, ‘Man, we got to come up with a name today.’ ”
The MC explains that he brainstormed for a while before finally taking inspiration from the place he grew up, the Sunshine State. “So, OK, I sat up there for about an hour and finally, it hit me,” he says. “Take Florida, break it in half and there you go: Flo Rida.”
“When I Was 17″ — this week featuring Flo Rida, Melissa Joan Hart and Alison Sweeney — premieres Saturday at 11 a.m. on MTV