Crank That (Soulja Boy)

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"Crank That (Soulja Boy)"
A man is holding a cellphone to his left ear. He is wearing a jacket with a matching beanie headpiece and black sunglasses. He has an expression of shock on his face. Centred to his top left in orange, capital letter graffiti-like font is the title 'Crank That'. Directly below the title in larger blue font is the name 'Soulja Boy'. The name features stars filling the gaps in the 'o' letters.
Single by Soulja Boy
from the album
  • May 2, 2007
  • June 27, 2007
Genre Snap
Length 3:42
Writer(s) DeAndre Way[2]
Producer(s) Soulja Boy
Soulja Boy chronology
"Crank That (Soulja Boy)"
"Soulja Girl"
Alternative cover
International cover
International cover

"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" is the debut single by American rapper Soulja Boy.

It served as the lead single from his debut studio album (2007) and accompanies the Soulja Boy dance. The song is recognized by its looping steelpan riff. It caused what has been called "the biggest dance fad since the [mid-1990s] Macarena", with an instructional YouTube video for the dance surpassing 27 million views by early 2008.[3]

"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" spent seven weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 2007, and was the number 21 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007.[4] The song received a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song at the 50th Grammy Awards but lost to Kanye West's song "Good Life". On January 6, 2008, it became the first song ever to sell 3 million digital copies in the US.[5] In 2009 it was named the 23rd most successful song of the 2000s on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.[6] It had sold 5,080,000 downloads in the US by February 2014.[7]

Production and release[edit]

The song was originally produced in FL Studio before being later reproduced.[citation needed] It was released on May 2, 2007 in the US and on June 27, 2007 globally.

Dance and music video[edit]

Inspired by recent dance crazes that had popularized some rappers from Atlanta, Soulja Boy (DeAndre Way) and his friends invented the dance moves that gave rise to "Crank That": As summarized by The Wall Street Journal, "dancers bounce back on their heels, ripple their hands, crank their wrists like motorcyclists, then lunge into a Superman pose".[3]

The music video (directed by Dale Resteghini) begins in the "ColliPark Residence" with Sincostan Ak Flame and J Fresh imitating the Soulja Boy dance, they frequently begin their sentences with the word "Bukaw," the slang from that area.[8] Mr. Collipark takes a keen interest in the children's movements, leading him to contact Soulja Boy in an attempt to sign him up to "Collipark Records". His instinct is confirmed when he notices a number of people performing the dance, en route to meeting with Soulja Boy.

This video was premiered on BET's 106 & Park on August 9, 2007. The music video features Bow Wow, Chris Brown, Omarion, Unk, Baby D, Jibbs, Rich Boy, Arab, and several dancers doing the signature "Soulja Boy Dance."

A large number of "remixes" of the video, featuring the original audio track and video taken from cartoons such as Bambi II, Dora the Explorer, The Simpsons, South Park, and most notably, SpongeBob SquarePants, also appeared on YouTube at the time of the track's success.[9] There have also been many parodies of the video parodying various people, including Michael Jackson and Barney, as well as a cover by post hardcore band I Set My Friends on Fire.


I Set My Friends on Fire version[edit]

"Crank That"
Single by I Set My Friends on Fire
from the album You Can't Spell Slaughter Without Laughter
Released September 16, 2007
Format Digital download
Recorded 2007
Length 3:02
Label Epitaph
Writer(s) DeAndre Way
I Set My Friends on Fire singles chronology
"Crank That"
"Sex Ed Rocks"

Crank That is the first single by the post-hardcore band, I Set My Friends on Fire. The song is featured on their debut EP and first album.


The band released the first single over Myspace under the name of the Cavalry Kids.[34] The song quickly blew up on the Internet and was released on iTunes on September 17, 2007. It was then put on the band's first EP, "I Set My Friends on Fire" and eventually their debut album, "You Can't Spell Slaughter Without Laughter". The song was written by DeAndre Way and produced by Nabil Moo, Travis Richter and Jeff Abarta.


  1. ^ (CD liner). Soulja Boy. Interscope Records. 2007. 
  2. ^ "Crank That (Soulja Boy) - Writing Credits". Broadcast Music Incorporated. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  3. ^ a b Jurgensen, John (February 9, 2008). "But Can You Dance to It?". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on March 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ No byline (December 11, 2007). "The 100 Best Songs of 2007" Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
  5. ^ Paul Grein (January 7, 2011). "Chart Watch Extra: Thank You, Daniel Powter". Yahoo Music (Chart Watch). 
  6. ^ "Hot 100 Decade Songs". Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  7. ^ Paul Grein (January 5, 2013). "Chart Watch: Beyonce Soars To #2". Yahoo Music. 
  8. ^ South Park-Crank dat soulja boy on YouTube
  9. ^ Mason, Matt (10 May 2008). "Piracy is remixing culture and capitalism". The Guardian .
  10. ^ " – Soulja Boy – Crank That (Soulja Boy)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  11. ^ " – Soulja Boy – Crank That (Soulja Boy)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  12. ^ " – Soulja Boy – Crank That (Soulja Boy)" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  13. ^ " – Soulja Boy – Crank That (Soulja Boy)" (in French). Ultratip.
  14. ^ "Soulja Boy – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Soulja Boy.
  15. ^ " – Soulja Boy – Crank That (Soulja Boy)" (in French). Les classement single.
  16. ^ " – Soulja Boy Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  17. ^ " – Soulja Boy – Crank That (Soulja Boy)". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ " – Soulja Boy – Crank That (Soulja Boy)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "Soulja Boy: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  20. ^ "Soulja Boy – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Soulja Boy.
  21. ^ "Soulja Boy – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Soulja Boy.
  22. ^ "Soulja Boy – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Soulja Boy.
  23. ^ "Soulja Boy – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rap Songs for Soulja Boy.
  24. ^ "End of Year Charts 2007". NZTop40. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  25. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 - 2007". Official Charts. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  26. ^ "Hot 100 Songs : Page 1 - Billboard". Billboard. 
  27. ^ "Rap Songs: 2007 Year-End Charts - Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  28. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2008". ARIA. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  29. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - Year End 2008". Billboard. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  30. ^ "End of Year Charts 2008". NZTop40. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  31. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 - 2008". Official Charts. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  32. ^ "Hot 100 Songs - Year End 2008". Billboard. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  33. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Decade-End 2000-2009". Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  34. ^ "I Set My Friends on Fire tests one's tolerance on You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter". The Georgia Straight. Vancouver, Canada: Retrieved 7 February 2011.