Britney Spears, Eminem, Lady Gaga Play The Self-Reference Game

Just about every year in pop music can be defined by a certain trend that tended to permeate a large percentage of the songs floating around the radio. There was the Year That Auto-Tune Blew Up, the Year That Country Crossed Over, the Year That Everybody Collaborated With The Neptunes and the Year That “Mambo No. 5” Ruled The Earth. This year, it’s somewhat difficult to figure out exactly what the underlying thread was, though the MTV Newsroom Blog would like to submit 2010 as the Year That Everybody Sang Their Own Names.

Listen to the likes of Jason Derulo (who seems to open most of his songs by singing his own name), Lady Gaga (whose own name makes up the bulk of the chorus of “Bad Romance”) and Akon (who croons “Akon and MJ” at the top of the recently-released posthumous Michael Jackson single “Hold My Hand”). It’s not a bad plan, really, as since most songs are overheard at the supermarket or coming out of passing cars, it’s probably a good idea to identify yourself in the place where a radio DJ used to.

Of course, none of those artists invented the idea of singing your own name. Britney Spears entered the universe with the song-opening “It’s Britney, bitch” a few years back, while many rappers treat their own names like brands in the middle of commercial jingles (including Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Soulja Boy and countless others).

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the amazing piece of video below, pulled together by our crack production team here at MTV News. It’ll give you a good idea exactly how many artists are singing and rapping their own names.


Who is your favorite self-referential artist? Let us know in the comments!