What’s In a Name: Which Songs of the Same Name Are the Best

In the world of music, there are only so many titles that exist when naming a song, so it is inevitable that there will be some overlap.

However, that does not mean all songs are equal, and the most important thing an artist can do is ensure their song is the best among all other songs that share its title.

With that, here is The Hub@TTU’s attempt to determine which songs of the same name are the true, definitive tracks listeners should consider.

Jump – Van Halen & Kriss Kross

Both anthems in their own right, Kriss Kross and Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ achieved commercial acclaim, as both songs skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard charts in their respective eras.

Determining which ‘Jump’ is granted supremacy is dependent upon a variety of factors. Both singles are accompanied by videos quintessential to their decades, with Van Halen’s being the video template directors still aim for today.

Kriss Kross did ultimately fail at instigating the backward jeans trend, but their ‘Jump’ was produced by Jermaine Dupri and did not lead to them being labeled as sellouts and the departure of David Lee Roth.

There is a clear winner here.

Verdict:  Kriss Kross

Rockstar – Post Malone (feat. 21 Savage) & Nickelback

This was supposed to be an easy decision, but some hero on the internet decided to imagine a world where both songs exist as one entity and nothing has been the same since.

Post Malone (via Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

However, the key difference here is perspective. In Post Malone’s ‘rockstar,’ the listener gets a front row seat to Post Malone and 21 Savage’s reality as successful mainstream hip-hop artists, living life in the fast line — like true rockstars.

Nickelback, meanwhile, are envisioning a world where they are finally rockstars, but their imagination does not even compare to Post Malone’s reality. It is sad, really.

The decision, ultimately, is answered by one question: Does it slap? Nickelback does not slap. Post Malone absolutely slaps.

Verdict: Post Malone

Cemetery/Cemetry Gates – Pantera & The Smiths

Both Pantera and The Smiths were widely influential in their respective genres, with The Smiths often referred as arguably the most vital voice in alternative rock music in the 1980s, and Pantera being regarded as a band that inspired a generation of metal acts to come.

Each song comes from defining bodies of work from each band. The Smiths’ “The Queen is Dead” is widely considered their best album, and Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell” is regarded as one of the influential metal albums of the 1990s, so selecting between the two is no easy feat.

Pantera’s ‘Cemetery Gates’ is an enthralling experience that blends their groovy thrash sound into an epic ballad of sorts, and The Smiths’ ‘Cemetry Gates’ showcases Morrissey’s astute pop songwriting sensibilities and sharp wit, infectious melodies and Johnny Marr’s excellent guitar work.
And while Morrissey has clearly never used spell check in his life, ‘Cemetry Gates’ is just too intoxicating to lose. Sorry, Dimebag.

Verdict: The Smiths

Keep Ya/Your Head Up – 2pac & Andy Grammer

One song, from arguably the greatest rapper of all time, geniusly takes samples from Zapp and The Five Stairsteps and turns them into a heartfelt ode to black women; the other song was in “Pitch Perfect.”

Verdict: 2Pac

Miserable – Kacey Musgraves & Lit

Two songs tailor-made for a late-night existential crisis, and both come from a similar place.

Kacey Musgraves’ comes from dealing with a presumed partner who keeps dragging her down with his constant miserable demeanor, and Lit are singing from the perspective of having something that was supposed to make you happy, but in reality just makes you miserable.

Lit’s 1999 hit is catchy, no doubt, but the music video is too irredeemable to even consider it as a legitimate contender.

Also, and most importantly, Kacey Musgraves is amazing.

Verdict: Kacey Musgraves

Shake it Off – Mariah Carey & Taylor Swift

To declare a winner between Mariah Carey and Taylor Swift’s hit singles, there is context to address.

In the early 2000s, Carey endured commercial failure after commercial failure (remember Glitter?), and she desperately needed a win. Along came 2005’s “The Emancipation of Mimi.”

The album, while still not convincing all the critics, served as Carey’s commercial redemption, and ‘Shake it Off,’ an obvious standout, helped return her to glory, becoming her highest-selling album since 1995.

Taylor Swift’s first single from the Grammy Award-winning  “1989” only helped Swift climb higher and higher toward all-out pop supremacy, showcasing an entirely new sonic direction from the artist. And, well, you know the rest.

Now, play both songs back to back. Yeah.

Verdict: Mariah Carey

Creep – Radiohead & TLC

These 90s classics utilize the word “creep” in their unique ways. Radiohead’s fan-favorite is an anthem for self-loathers everywhere, and TLC’s rhythm and blues jam is a game of revenge, telling the story of a woman who cheats on her significant other in response to his own infidelity.

As great as TLC’s track is, the song proved to be too controversial for group member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who threatened to wear black tape over mouth during the video shoot.

It is likely Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ resonates with most of us to this day.

Verdict: Radiohead

By Your Side – Sade & The Black Crowes

Each of these songs carry a lot of similarities for being on two ends of the musical spectrum.

First, both songs pack a lot of soul, with Sade being on the R&B end and The Black Crowes on the rock end.

Second, they have the same core message: “Despite the way life has treated you, I will be by your side.” How touching.

The decision comes down to lyricism, use of metaphor and emotional response elicited from the listener. And as groovy and dynamic as The Black Crowes are on this track, there is just no beating the smooth, velvety vocals of Sade Adu. Ever.

Verdict: Sade

Jolene – Dolly Parton & Ray LaMontagne

Both Dolly Parton and Ray LaMontagne tackle different aspects of the human condition in dealing with their subject, Jolene.

The former is an insight to the insecurity and jealously everyone feels at the prospect of someone better coming along and stealing our significant other, the latter being a tale of heartbreak that recounts being left by his lover, Jolene, due to the singer’s battle with addiction.

Both are incredible ballads, and a case can be made for either, but there is not a way to beat timeless, and Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ is timeless.

Verdict: Dolly Parton

Can’t Believe It  – T-Pain & Migos

T-Pain and Migos have both influenced the landscape of hip-hop and R&B in their own unique ways.

T-Pain can be credited with popularizing and perfecting the use of autotune in hip-hop (though perhaps he cursed it in the process), and Migos helped usher in the triplet flow that permeates throughout all of modern trap music.

But it took Migos some time before they truly made their mark on pop culture, and 2014’s ‘Can’t Believe It’ just could not capitalize on the massive success of 2013’s ‘Versace.’

T-Pain’s ‘Can’t Believe It,’ other than being the greatest love song of the 21st century, did something that still perplexes audiences to this day: it rhymed “mansion” with “Wisconsin.”

The argument ends there.

Verdict: T-Pain

Listen to our playlist below.


About Shane Longoria

Shane is the Entertainment Reporter for The Hub@TTU. He enjoys writing about music, reading about politics and improving his Twitter game. He is almost finished with his bachelor's degree in electronic media and communications, and hopes to pursue a career in music journalism.

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