This past weekend on “Saturday Night Live,” [artist id=”1240040″]Akon[/artist] joined the Lonely Island guys in a hilarious video for a new song called “I Just Had Sex,” in which the singer proudly sings his own name, as well as the group’s.
[url id=”http://www.mtv.com/videos/misc/559056/chelsea-handler-auto-tunes-best-new-artist-nominee-jason-derulo.jhtml”]Chelsea Handler[/url], meanwhile also got self-referential at the VMAs, when she Auto-Tuned her way through a pre-taped bit with Best New Artist nominee Jason Derülo. And, to be fair, we here at MTV News have been obsessed with pop stars singing their own names in songs for the bulk of 2010, prompted by Derülo’s epic use of the device in several of his hits.
Folks like Derülo, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj (“Right Thru Me”), Kanye West (“Dark Fantasy”) and, obviously, Akon join a list of two decades’ worth of pop artists who have taken it upon themselves to brand their tracks with their own names. In the ’80s, stars like Janet Jackson, Beastie Boys and New Kids on the Block proudly proclaimed who they were in their songs.
Moving into the ’90s, “TRL” staples such as the Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Lopez, Kid Rock and Eminem all blasted their monikers on their tracks, letting fans know just who was singing or rapping through hits like Rock’s “Bawitdaba” and BSB’s “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).”
As the new millennium approached and the musical landscape became more and more flooded with pop stars, it became a regular practice, with everyone from Ciara to M.I.A. to Fergie to Beyoncé to Shakira giving shout-outs to themselves in their songs.
With this practice more common than ever in 2010, MTV News has approved the following rules for self-referential shout-outs. One, you get famous. Two, you brand yourself in song. Three, you put your name in the chorus, or in many cases at the very beginning of the tune.
And, four, you name-drop like it’s hot. Repeat offenders observing the final rule include Lady Gaga (“Just Dance,” “Bad Romance”), Derülo (“Whatcha Say,” “In My Head”) and Akon, who most recently called out his own name and Michael Jackson’s on “Hold My Hand.”
What do you think of pop stars singing their own names? Who pulls it off and who doesn’t? Tell us in the comments!