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Soulja Boy Tell 'Em

Background information
Birth name DeAndre Cortez Way[1][2]
Also known as Soulja Boy
Born July 28, 1990 (1990-07-28) (age 19)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Genres Hip hop, pop
Occupations Rapper, record producer
Years active 2004–present
Labels Stacks on Deck, Collipark, Interscope
Associated acts Arab, Gucci Mane, S.O.D money gang
Website www.souljaboytellem.com
Notable instruments
FL Studio

DeAndre Cortez Way (born July 28, 1990), better known by his stage name Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, or simply Soulja Boy, is an American rapper and record producer.

In September of 2007, his single "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was initially self-published on the Internet, and it became a number-one hit in the United States for seven non-consecutive weeks starting in September 2007. This makes him the youngest person (16 years, 10 months) to write, perform, and produce a number-one song on the Hot 100, a title that was previously held by Deborah Gibson (17 years, 11 months) for almost 2 decades.[3] Despite his commercial success, his music has been the subject of ridicule from critics.[4] He is also the youngest CEO in the music industry.

Contents

Early life

DeAndre Way was born in Chicago and moved to Atlanta at age six,[5][6] where he became interested in rap music.[7] At age 14, he moved to Batesville, Mississippi, with his father, who provided a recording studio for Way to explore his musical ambitions.[5]

Music career

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Career beginnings and souljaboytellem.com (2005–2008)

Soulja Boy performing "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" in February 2008.

In November 2005, Way posted his songs on the website SoundClick. Following positive reviews on the site, he then established his own web pages on YouTube and MySpace.[8][9] In March 2007, he recorded "Crank That" and released his first independent album Unsigned & Still Major: Da Album Before da Album, followed by a low-budget video filmed demonstrating the "Crank That" dance. By the end of May 2007, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" received its first airplay and Way met with Mr. Collipark to sign a deal with Interscope Records.

On August 12, 2007, the song appeared on the Emmy-award winning HBO series Entourage, and by September 1, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot RingMasters charts.[10] Way's major label debut album Souljaboytellem.com, which was reportedly recorded using just the demo version of FL Studio,[7][11] was released in the United States on October 2,[12] peaking at #4 on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.[13] On December 9, 2007, Way was sued by William Lyons (aka Souljah Boy of Mo Thugs) who claims he first created the stage name "Souljah Boy".[14][6]

For the 50th Grammy Awards, Way was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song with "Crank That (Soulja Boy)". He lost to Kanye West's and T-Pain's "Good Life".

Souljaboytellem.com received a favorable review from Allmusic[12] but received mainly negative ones, such as from Entertainment Weekly.[15] Several reviewers credited Soulja Boy with spearheading a new trend in hip-hop, while speculating he will likely be a one-hit wonder.[16][17][18]

iSouljaBoyTellem (2008–2009)

In June 2008, on DJ Cisco’s Urban Legend mixtape, Ice-T criticized Way for "killing hip-hop" and his song "Crank That" for being "garbage" compared to the works of other hip-hop artists such as Rakim, Das EFX, Big Daddy Kane and Ice Cube. One of the comments in the exchange was when Ice-T told Way to "eat a dick".[19] The two then traded numerous videos back and forth over the Internet. These videos included a cartoon and video of Ice-T dancing on Way's behalf and an apology, but reiteration of his feelings that Way's music "sucks", on Ice-T's behalf.[20] Rapper Kanye West defended Way by arguing that the younger artist created a new, original work for hip-hop, thus keeping the authentic meaning of the music.[21]

The follow-up to souljaboytellem.com, iSouljaBoyTellem, was released on December 16, 2008, to negative critical reception.[22] The first single from the album, "Bird Walk", peaked at number 40 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the top 20 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. "Kiss Me Thru the Phone", with Sammie, followed, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Rap Tracks charts.[23]

The DeAndre Way (2009–present)

The DeAndre Way[24] is the rapper's upcoming third studio album. Way has stated that the album is intended to be his most personal and successful album thus far. When speaking on possible collaborations, he stated he wished to work with artists such as Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West among others.[25] According to his official twitter, Way stated that a collaboration with Justin Bieber would be on the album.[26]

Musical style

Critics and hip-hop figures such as Snoop Dogg and Method Man[27] cite Soulja Boy as artistically typical of contemporary rap trends such as writing for the lucrative ringtone market, and the ascendence of "Southern hip hop", emphasizing catchy music that discards rap's traditional emphasis on message.[28][29] Soulja Boy identifies his goal as making upbeat, party-themed music that avoids the negative, violent image that he sees in most hip-hop.[28][29]

Despite this, his music has been banned from some school dances for sexual, violent content or innuendo. However, he has denied these claims.[30] In the original YouTube video for "Shootout", Soulja Boy demonstrates his dance while holding a handgun in each hand and pretending to shoot into the audience.[31]

Stacks on Deck Entertainment

Way founded the record label "Stacks on Deck Entertainment" in 2004. While Way is signed under Interscope and Collipark Music, he claims that his label has distribution deals with Interscope, Universal Records, and Koch.[32] Other artists on the roster include Arab, JBar, and the S.O.D. Money Gang which consists of the three rappers. Though it was originally reported that rapper White Tee was signed to the label,[33] Way himself later confirmed it was a joke.[32]

Personal life

On December 30, 2008, Way was robbed and assaulted in his home. Initial reports indicated that the robbers were six masked men with AK-47s and pistols but on December 31, 2008, video clips surfaced on the Internet of two masked men claiming sole credit for the crime.[34][35] Soulja Boy described the incident to MTV News a month later: He had come home very late at night after attending an album release party and was recording songs with friends when the robbers came in pointing their guns.[36]

On October 7, 2009, Way was arrested on one count of obstruction, a misdemeanor, for running from police when he'd been ordered to stop. The rapper was released on $550 bond. [37]

Discography

Awards and nominations

  • BET Hip-Hop Awards
    • 2007: Best Hip-Hop Dance (Won)
  • Grammy Awards
    • 2008: Best Rap Song: "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" (Nominated)
  • Ozone Awards
    • 2007: Patiently Waiting: Mississippi (Won)
    • 2008: Best Breakthrough Artist (Nominated)
    • 2008: TJ's DJ's Tastemaker Award (Nominated)
  • Teen Choice Awards
    • 2009: Choice Music: Rap Artist (Nominated)
    • 2009: Choice Music: R&B Track for "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" (Nominated)
    • 2009: Choice Music: Hook Up for "Kiss Me Thru the Phone"
    • 2009: Choice Music: Artist (Nominated)

References

  1. ^ Soulja Boy Tell'em Ready To Drop Paranormal Activity Mixtape
  2. ^ Soulja Boy Burns Calories, Boosts Street Cred With Arrest
  3. ^ Soulja Boy, Will.i.am, Akon Take YouTube Live
  4. ^ JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr., Associated Press Writer (2009-05-07). "Soulja Boy emerges through criticism with 2 hits". Sfgate.com. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/05/07/entertainment/e070041D74.DTL. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  5. ^ a b Cordor, Cyril (2007). "Soulja Boy Tell Em - Biography". Allmusic. http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0nfrxqerldje~T1. 
  6. ^ a b "‘Soulja Boy’ Being Sued By ‘Souljah Boy’". HipHopRoll. December 8, 2007. pp. 1. http://www.hiphoproll.com/soulja-boy-being-sued-by-souljah-boy/. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  7. ^ a b Soulja Boy at SoundClick
  8. ^ Soulja Boy @ YouTube
  9. ^ Soulja Boy @ MySpace
  10. ^ Vibe Magazine. Ayo, Technology by Brent S. Grier. November 2007. Page 50.
  11. ^ "Rap City" (September 2007). BET.
  12. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Souljaboytellem.com" Overview. Allmusic: 2007
  13. ^ All Music Chart - Souljaboytellem.com
  14. ^ "Souljah Boy: Guilty of Stealing and Inseminating". MTV Australia. 2008-01-10. http://www.mtv.com.au/news/354/. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  15. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (2007-10-05). "Music Review: Souljaboytellem.com". Entertainment Weekly. Time. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20144964,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-27. "At least he owns a cool domain name. D" 
  16. ^ Robinson, Patrick. "Soulja Boy - Souljaboytellem.com Review". 411mania.com, LLC. http://www.411mania.com/music/album_reviews/60943. Retrieved 2007-12-27. "...not a chore to listen to in that sense and Soulja Boy does show some signs of youthful enthusiasm." 
  17. ^ Griff. "Soulja Boy - Souljaboytellem.com". Okayplayer.com. http://www.okayplayer.com/reviews/index.php/weblog/more/souljaboytellemcom/. Retrieved 2007-12-27. "This one's definitely geared for the kiddies... does an excellent job of catering to current industry trends with ringtone themes ... and dance moves galore ... Despite all the criticism that he’s received from hip-hop purists, it’d be naive to think Soulja Boy hasn’t changed the face of hip-hop" 
  18. ^ The Review - Review of Souljaboytellem.com
  19. ^ Hale, Andreas (2008-06-17). "Ice-T Tells Soulja Boy To Eat A Dick". Hip Hop DX. http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.7135/title.ice-t-tells-soulja-boy-to-eat-a-dick. 
  20. ^ Soulja Boy Tell'em Talks About New Album, Battle With Ice-T MTV. June 25, 2008.
  21. ^ Upmalis, Jordan (2008-06-23). "Ice-T vs. Soulja Boy Tell'em Video Blog Beef Heats Up; Kanye Weighs In". MTV News. http://newsroom.mtv.com/2008/06/23/ice-t-vs-soulja-boy-tellem-video-blog-beef-heats-up-kanye-weighs-in. 
  22. ^ Darryl Sterdan (December 15, 2008). "Reviewing the final new CDs of 2008; Soulja Boy Tell Em". Winnipeg Sun (Manitoba). "It isn't easy being Soulja. Everybody from Ice-T to LeBron James has been hating on the 18-year-old rapper and his hit Crank That. But before you feel sorry for him, crank his second CD. Then again, don't. Between the tossed-off shallowness of his tracks and the monotony of his repetitive vocals, you might decide that the only thing worse than being Soulja Boy is listening to him" 
  23. ^ "Soulja Boy Tell Em - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles". allmusic. http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0nfrxqerldje~T51. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  24. ^ Rapradar article
  25. ^ Soulja Boy Tell'em Wants Jay-Z, Lil Wayne On DeAndre Way
  26. ^ http://twitter.com/souljaboytellem/status/9323152556
  27. ^ June 30, 2008 (2008-06-30). "Method Man calls Soulja Boy GARBAGE!". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXws4FGG4Qg. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  28. ^ a b "Huge hits don’t spell success for new rap stars". msnbc.com. Associated Press. 2007-10-19. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21365044/. Retrieved 2007-12-11. "Labels aren’t developing acts and more are writing ringtones, veterans say" 
  29. ^ a b Nekesa Mumbi Moody (2007-10-18). "New rap stars find success fleeting". Yahoo! Music. Associated Press. http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/50674023. Retrieved 2007-12-27. "Seventeen-year-old Soulja Boy says that's what people want to hear these days." 
  30. ^ Springer Jr, Anthony (November 15th, 2007). "Soulja Boy Debunks "Superman Dat Hoe" Rumors". HipHopDX.com. http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.5971/title.soulja-boy-debunks-superman-dat-hoe-rumors. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  31. ^ Harrington, Richard (December 21, 2007). "Soulja Boy Cranks It Up Big-Time". Washington Post: p. WE12. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/20/AR2007122000913.html. "... some school dances and skating rinks have banned the song for sexual slang and innuendo, though naive teens seem to be more interested in the dance and the beat than in the lyrics." 
  32. ^ a b Soulja Boy Interview "You Got 50 Stacks!!!"
  33. ^ Who Is Soulja Boy’s White Rapper?
  34. ^ SoulajBoy Assaulted in Georgia Allhiphop.com, January 2, 2009
  35. ^ "SOULJA BOY ROBBED AT GUNPOINT?: Rapper's rep claims masked men invaded the house; video of men claiming responsibility surfaces". EURweb.com. 2009-01-05. http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur49807.cfm. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  36. ^ Kaufman, Gil (2009-01-28). "Soulja Boy Tell'em Describes Alleged Robbery". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1603658/20090128/soulja_boy_tellem.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  37. ^ Kaufman, Gil; Rodriguez, Jayson (2009-10-09). "Soulja Boy Tell'em Arrested For Running From Police". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1623510/20091009/soulja_boy_tellem.jhtml. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 

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