Before Kanye, before Jay-Z, before Notorious B.I.G., before NWA, the only rap song I knew wasn’t even really a song – it was a line. “My name is X and I’m here to say/I’m the coolest guy in the U.S.A.” Naturally, I would substitute “X” with “Josh” and occasionally swap “coolest” with “swellest” or, if I wanted to feel hip, “illest,” but the overall structure remained the same. As a kid, I thought that line encapsulated everything there was to know about rap: it had bravado and it rhymed. DONE AND DONE.
I also assumed every rapper began every song with “My name is…” (this was well before Eminem literally titled a song “My Name Is,” likely as a winking acknowledgment toward dumb white guys like me who thought that was rap), when in fact, it’s actually difficult to find many non-parodies that use the line. What artist would want to admit that they used the structure that Barney Rubble once did in a Fruity Pebbles commercial?
Here are 10 notable uses of the “My name is X and I’m here to say” lyric (I’m not including close-ish instances, like, “My name is DMC, the all-time great/I bust the most rhymes in New York state” in Run DMC’s “Raising Hell” because that’s much more common), most of which are parodies, including its possible origin.
“I’m the devil and I’m here to say/I’m the most evil rapper in the U.S.A.”
“Well my name is MC and I’m here to say/I rock the mic with asbestos all up in your face.”
“Well, I’m the Big Gipper and I’m here to say/That I’m the biggest rapper in the U.S.A.!/Yeah, my name’s Ron with the D.C. Crew/Going on record with a rap for you.”
“I’m a rapping dog and I’m here to say/Rappa rappa rappa, a tappa huppa huppa.”
“I’m PN News and I’m here to say/That I’ll take Rick Rude’s title away.”
I’m Mr. Plow and I’m here to say/I’m the plowingest guy in the USA.”
“I’m Rappin’ A.B. and I’m here to say/If you want to drink beer, well, Duff’s the only way!”
“I’m Barney Rubble and I’m here to say/I love Fruity Pebbles in a major way.”
“You see my name is Freddy and I’m here to say/I’ll wrap you up and take you away.”
“I’m Chiquita banana and I’ve come to say/Bananas have to ripen in a certain way.”