Devo, ”Jocko Homo” (1978)
Are they not men? They are Devo!
The Clash, ”This Is Radio Clash” (1981)
The agit-punk classic that tricked your anxious parents into thinking you were listening to a real ”pirate satellite” station in your room. God bless the Clash.
Big Country, ”In a Big Country” (1983)
Electric bagpipes + super-vague geography metaphors = one shining Scot-rock moment. And then, alas, obscurity (at least in the actually large landmass of America).
Wang Chung, ”Everybody Have Fun Tonight” (1986)
Translated from Chinese, the chorus would be ”Everybody have fun tonight/Everybody yellow bell tonight.” Interpret that as you wish on the dance floor.
Prince, ”My Name Is Prince’‘ (1992)
…and he is FUNK-AY — though shortly after, he did change his name to an unpronounceable symbol. ”My Name Is [bloop]”? Less catchy.
Snoop Dogg, ”Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” (1993)
He is commanding you to recognize! Or perhaps he is seriously asking; that last doobie was a doozy.
Backstreet Boys, ”Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” (1997)
Yay for ’90s boy-band anthems! Less yay for giddy 12-year-olds chanting along to lyrics like ”Am I sexual?/Yeahhhh.”
Jimmy Ray, ”Are You Jimmy Ray?” (1998)
Are you the pomade-pompadoured missing link between Elvis Presley and Luke Perry? Did you totally vaporize after this single? Congratulations! You are Jimmy Ray.
Eminem, ”The Real Slim Shady” (2000)
A member of the Say My Name(s) Hall of Fame: He not only titled three consecutive releases after his various noms de rap but also big-ups himself in both the first and third person here. So meta.
Diddy, ”D.I.D.D.Y.” (2001)
Yes, he changed his name again! Does he really have to spell it out for you? Wait, he does? Okay.
Fergie, ”Fergalicious” (2006)
Fergie sees your self-reference, and she raises you a self-adjective. (Approximate definition: ”Like ‘delicious’ but better, and with more hair extensions.”) She is coining words, other pop stars. Get with it.
Britney Spears, ”Gimme More” (2007)
Knock, knock. Who’s there? ”It’s Britney, bitch.” Oh hey, girl; come on in! So glad you remembered the password.
Beyoncé and Shakira, ”Beautiful Liar” (2007)
Memo to Mr. Shady Two-Timer: The one on the left is ”Beyoncé Beyoncé” the other one is “Shakira Shakira,” and neither of them is very happy with you right now.
Madonna feat. Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., ”Gimme All Your Luvin”’
An all-star cheer squad put their pom-poms — and one middle finger not invited to the party — up for Her Madgesty.