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Soulja Boy

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Soulja Boy
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em on YouTube Live.jpg
Soulja Boy at YouTube Live in November 2008
Background information
Birth name DeAndre Cortez Way[1][2]
Also known as Soulja Boy Tell 'Em
Born (1990-07-28) July 28, 1990 (age 26)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • record producer
  • entrepreneur
  • actor
Instruments
Years active 2004–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website thedeandreway.com

DeAndre Cortez Way (born July 28, 1990), known professionally as Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, or simply Soulja Boy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor and entrepreneur. In September 2007, his debut single "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The single was initially self-published to the internet, and later became a number-one hit in the United States for seven non-consecutive weeks starting in September 2007.[5] On August 17, Way was listed at number 18 on the Forbes list of Hip-Hop Cash Kings of 2010 for earning $7 million for that year.[6]

Way has released three studio albums and one independent album: his debut studio album Souljaboytellem.com (2007) was certified platinum by the RIAA. However, his next two albums, iSouljaBoyTellem (2008) and The DeAndre Way (2010) did not match the commercial success of his debut, despite the success of several singles across both albums, such as "Kiss Me Thru the Phone", "Turn My Swag On" and "Pretty Boy Swag". The DeAndre Way sold only 100,000 copies.[7]

Early life

Way was born in Chicago and moved to Atlanta at the age of six,[8] where he became interested in rap music.[9] At age 14, he moved to Batesville, Mississippi, with his father, who provided a recording studio for Way to explore his musical ambitions.[8] In November 2005, Way posted his songs on the website SoundClick.

Following positive reviews on the site, he established accounts on YouTube and Myspace.[10][11] 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 demonstrating the "Crank That" dance. By the end of May 2007, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" had received its first airplay and Way met with Mr. Collipark to sign a deal with Interscope Records.[citation needed]

Music career

2007–08: Souljaboytellem.com and iSouljaBoyTellem

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

On August 12, 2007, the song was used on the television series Entourage, and on September 1 it topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and Hot RingMasters charts.[12] Way's major label debut album, Souljaboytellem.com, was released in the United States on October 2,[13] peaking at number four on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.[14] The album was reportedly recorded using just the demo version of FL Studio.[15][16]

For the 50th Grammy Awards, Way was nominated for Best Rap Song with "Crank That (Soulja Boy)", but lost to Kanye West and T-Pain's "Good Life". Souljaboytellem.com received a favorable review from Allmusic,[13] but received mainly negative reviews from other sources such as Entertainment Weekly.[17] Several reviewers credited Soulja Boy with spearheading a new trend in hip-hop, while speculating he would likely be a one-hit wonder.[18][19][20]

The follow-up to souljaboytellem.com, iSouljaBoyTellem, was released on December 16, 2008 to negative critical reception.[21] 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. It was performed on YouTube Live on November 22, 2008, with an introduction from MC Hammer.[22] "Kiss Me Thru the Phone", with Sammie, followed, peaking at number three on the Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Rap Tracks charts.[23] Chris Brown was originally Way's first choice to sing the hook, but had respectfully turned down the offer. Way then tried to do it on his own with Auto-Tune but he found it unacceptable.[24] It sold over 2,000,000 digital copies in the United States, becoming his second song to reach the two million mark in downloads.[25][26] On January 26, 2009, Way released the third single "Turn My Swag On". it topped the US Rap Charts and peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100. As of August 23, 2009 it has sold more than 1,000,000 digital downloads in the United States.[26]

2009–10: The DeAndre Way

Way has stated that his third studio album, The DeAndre Way,[27] was intended to be his most personal and successful album thus far. When speaking on possible collaborations, he stated that he wished to work with artists such as Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West[28] and Eminem.[29] The lead single from the album, "POW", was released in January 2009 but failed to garner success and was dubbed a promo single. On October 30, 2009, Way released three mixtapes: Paranormal Activity, Dat Piff and Cortez.[30] It was announced on February 18, 2010, that the first single from the album was going to be "All Black Everything" but the single was cancelled and the track was put on another promotional mixtape, Legendary.[31] The album's title was changed to Dre in an early 2010 commercial with a video snippet for "Do It Big" as the first single but this was cancelled as well.[32] The album title was reverted to The DeAndre Way in July 2010.

On June 8, 2010, the official lead single from the album was "Pretty Boy Swag". The single reached number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100, number six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and number five on the Rap Songs chart.[33] The album's second single was due to be "Digital" which was instead used on his promotional mixtape Best Rapper.[34] Then it was announced that "Speakers Going Hammer" was going to be the second single, but "Blowing Me Kisses" was released on August 31, 2010, as the second single instead.[35] On October 13 Way performed "Pretty Boy Swag" and a snippet of his third single "Speakers Going Hammer". On October 19, 2010, Way released "Speakers Going Hammer" on iTunes with the single peaking at number 48 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs.[36] Way backed-out of the Summerbeatz tour in Australia in November 2010, where he was to have performed alongside Flo Rida, Jay Sean and Travie McCoy,[37] in order to embark on his "Who They Want" tour in support of his upcoming album. The DeAndre Way was released on November 30, 2010, and has so far[when?] only sold 70,000 copies, making it Way's lowest-selling album.

2011–present: mixtapes, EPs, independent albums & Blessed

In 2011, Way released a series of mixtapes. The first, on January 22, was titled Smooky and had cartoon cover art of Way doing a 360 on a bicycle.[38] On March 17, Way released the mixtape 1UP which had cover art based on the Naruto anime, with Way stating: "If I was in a video game, this mixtape would advance me to the next level with an extra life. Power up with the new offering."[39] On April 20, Way released his mixtape Juice with cover art based on the film of the same name. Way stated he would also release a mini-movie of his own to go along with the mixtape, and that he was headed to greatness with the mixtape.[40] On July 15, Way released his EP mixtape entitled Bernaurd Arnault EP (Limited Edition).[41] Then on August 1, Way released another ep mixtape entitled 21: EP.[42] On August 31, Way released the mixtape The Last Crown, the cover of the mixtape is based on the artwork the Flammarion Engraving.[43][44] In September 2011, Way confirmed that he is working on a new album, Promise, which would be released in October.[45] Way also released the cover and title of his second independent album via Twitter, entitled Skate Boy, with a notice that it would be available in stores on November 1.[46][47] On September 19, Way released the mixtape Supreme.[48] On October 30, Skate Boy (Deluxe Edition) was released as a mixtape, rather than an album.[49][50] On December 30, 2011, Way released another mixtape entitled Gold On Deck.[51]

In 2012, Way released additional mixtapes while his album continued to be delayed. On January 9, Way released a mixtape for the beginning of the year, entitled 50/13, with the cover based on that of ASAP Rocky's mixtape Live. Love. ASAP.[52] On January 24, Way released a collaboration mixtape with his artist Young L entitled Mario & Domo vs. the World with cover art based on the video game Super Mario Bros.[53] On March 23, Way released a mixtape entitled OBEY which featured the promotional single "Too Faded".[54][55][56] On June 3, 2012, Way talked about his upcoming album Promise and stated that he has released so many mixtapes in the last two years because he feels he has to put out a lot of music and be as creative as possible.[57] On June 11, Way released another collaboration mixtape with rapper Vinny Chase entitled Double Cup City.[58] On September 4, Way released the sequel mixtape Juice II, in which Way returned to his old production style with the beginning lines "Soulja Boy Tell 'Em". It is Way's most-downloaded mixtape.[59] His mixtape entitled Young & Flexin was released on November 6.[60] On December 25, 2012, Way released LOUD, which was his first mixtape distributed on iTunes.[61][62]

2013 was marked by further album delays while Way's record deal expired, and he continued to release mixtapes. On February 22, Way released his first mixtape of the year, entitled Foreign.[63] In March, it was rumored that Way was signing to Cash Money Records after getting a face tattoo saying "Rich Gang" the same weekend he was seen with his manager and Cash Money artists Birdman and Bow Wow.[64] This continued after he added "Rich Gang" or "YMCMB" to his social media platforms. Way had earlier reported that he was no longer with Interscope Records after his record deal ended in February.[65] Way also announced that his album Promise had been retitled USA DRE. On March 15, he released the first single from the album, titled "Handsome".[66][67] Following that, on March 25, he released the EP, All Black.[68] On April 24, Way released his mixtape Foreign 2.[69] Three days later, Way revealed the cover art to his next mixtape entitled King Soulja which was released on May 5.[70] On May 26, Way released his second EP entitled Cuban Link.[71][72] On June 13, Way announced another album title change, to Life After Fame, and that it would be released to stores on July 30, 2013.[73] On June 25, Way released his first single from the album entitled "Ridin Round" to iTunes, but it was later dubbed a promotional single.[74][75] On June 30, Way released Life After Fame as a mixtape instead of an album.[76] On September 24, Way released his mixtape entitled 23.[77][78] On November 30, Way released his mixtape The King.[79][80] On December 28, 2013 rapper/singer Drake collaborated and remixed Way's intro track "We Made It" from his mixtape The King.[81][82]

In 2014, Way continued work on his fourth studio album while collaborating with other artists and releasing additional mixtapes. On March 18, Way released his first mixtape of the year entitled King Soulja 2.[83][84][85] On April 20, Way released his first digital album Super Dope, featuring an appearance from rapper Busta Rhymes.[86] On May 19, Way produced, co-wrote and was featured on Nicki Minaj's promotional single "Yasss Bish", which received positive reviews from music critics.[87][88] On June 8, Way announced that he was currently working on his new mixtape project King Soulja 3, which would feature appearances from Lil Wayne, Drake, Migos, Young Thug and Wiz Khalifa.[89] On June 29, Way released King Soulja 3 as his second digital album via iTunes, featuring appearances from Gudda Gudda and Rich The Kid.[90] On October 31, Way released his mixtape Young Millionaire, featuring appearances from Sean Kingston, Cap.1 and Rich The Kid.[91][92][93] On November 17, Way announced via his Instagram that he had signed a new label deal with Universal Music Group and also revealed the title, cover art and release date for his fourth studio album, Loyalty, originally scheduled for release on December 2, 2014, but pushed back to February 3, 2015.[4]

In 2015, following the release of his fourth studio album, Loyalty, Way released additional singles, mixtapes and a digital album. For this upcoming digital album, King Soulja 4, Way released the single "Whippin My Wrist (Too Rich)" on February 27; it charted on the Billboard Trending 140 at number 48.[94][95] On May 16, Way released his mixtape Swag The Mixtape featuring appearances from Migos, Peewee Longway, Troy Ave, Johnny Cinco, Chief Keef, Pack Strong, Paul Allen, Chella H, Calico Jonez and Kyle Massey.[96][97] On May 26, fellow Atlanta, Georgia artist Rich The Kid announced that he and Way would be releasing a collaboration album entitled Get Rich.[98] On June 3, via Twitter, Way revealed the title, cover art and release date to his upcoming fifth studio album, Blessed, which was scheduled for release on July 28, 2015, but experienced several delays.[99] On June 30, Way released a mixtape entitled 25 The Movie.[100] On July 17, Way released a new single titled "Actavis" featuring Migos, taken from his fourth digital album King Soulja 4.[101] On July 23, Way released his mixtape entitled M & M: Money and Music.[102][103] On July 30, through his independent label Stacks on Deck Entertainment, Way released his fourth digital album, King Soulja 4, featuring appearances from Migos, ReeseMoneyBagz, Dae Dot and Sean Kingston.[104][105] On September 1, Way released the single "Diddy Bop".[106] On September 24, Way released a single entitled "Gratata" along with an accompanying music video.[107][108] On September 28, Way released the mixtape Plug Talk.[109] On November 9, Way premiered a single entitled "Make It Rain".[110] On November 24, Way released a mixtape entitled S. Beezy.[111][112][113][114]

In 2016, Way released his fifth and sixth digital albums in addition to numerous mixtapes, singles and videos. On January 14, Way released a single entitled "Drop The Top" and on January 24 he premiered its music video.[115][116][117] On January 24, Way released a standalone single entitled "Stephen Curry" after the NBA basketball player, and on February 6, Way also had a music video for the song.[118][119][120] On February 10, Way released another mixtape titled Finesse EP.[121] On February 14, Way released a mixtape entitled King Soulja 5, the fifth installment to his King Soulja mixtape/album series.[122][123] On March 15, through his independent label, Way released his fifth digital album, Stacks On Deck, featuring appearances from Agoff, King Reefa, Lil Yachty and Rich The Kid.[124][125][126][127] On May 12, Way released a single entitled "Day One".[128] On June 9, through his label Stacks on Deck Entertainment, Way released his sixth digital album, Better Late Than Never, featuring appearances from Lil Twist and Lil Yachty.[129][130][131] On July 23, Way released a single entitled "Rockstar".[132] On July 31, Way released the mixtape Rockstar, self-titled after his newly released single.[133][134][135] On August 23, Way released the sequel mixtape S. Beezy 2.[136][134][137] On September 14, Way released a single entitled "Max Payne".[138] On September 24, Way released a single entitled "Hit Them Folks".[139] On September 26, Way released a single entitled "I'm Up Now" featuring Chief Keef.[140] On September 29, Way released the mixtape King Soulja 6, the sixth installment to his King Soulja mixtape/album series.[141][142][143] On October 25, 2016, Way and Bow Wow released a joint retail mixtape titled Ignorant Shit.[144][145][146]

Musical style

Rapping technique

Way is best known for his rudimentary and superficially lyrical verses, vacuous and insipid subject matter, convoluted rhyme schemes, vague song structure, and for embodying the quintessentially trivial snap and Southern hip hop music style. Way has also been well known for his rudimentary and repetitive hip hop production style, with catchy hooks nonetheless incorporated into his songs.[147][148]

Speaking on his rudimentary rapping technique and vacuous lyrical style, in a November 2010 interview with XXL Magazine, while Way was explaining how he has grown as an emcee he stated:

"I can't keep playin' around, because if you keep playin' around, people are gonna think you're a joke... At some point, you have to get serious. But don't get it twisted, Soulja doesn't wanna be the next Lupe Fiasco. I don't want to be super-Lupe-Fiasco-lyrical and niggas don't know what the fuck I'm talking about," he added. "I want to be the best," he continued. "I want to be recognized in that category where I'm nominated for Best Rapper with Jay-Z and Kanye and Wayne. I wanna get a Grammy. I want Best Rap Album of the Year... I've made millions of dollars off of doing my style, but, hey, I can rap, too."

On December 5, 2010, Way clarified this statement that Lupe Fiasco was too "lyrical", explaining that he wanted to keep the rudimentary music style he developed and justified why he doesn't keep a lyrically-based flow and more substantially profound lyrical subject matter on every song.[149] According to Way:

"[XXL Magazine] didn't [publish] my whole statement. And basically, the interviewer dude, he was asking me why do I make lyrical songs like 'Only God Knows,' 'Born'... 'The World So Cold,' and why do I make non-lyrical songs like 'Crank That' and 'Pretty Boy Swag'? And he was like, why don't I just be lyrical all the time? And I was telling him on [a] specific song, like 'Pretty Boy Swag,' I ain't wanna be all lyrical. I just wanted to be straight-up, and just be simple, [so] people can get what I'm saying 'cause it's a club song. But I wasn't saying as far as my whole music [output, with] all of my songs, that I don't wanna be rappin' like Lupe Fiasco."

Way further clarified there was no animosity between he and Fiasco and that the two had planned to record a song together.

Other ventures

Stacks on Deck Entertainment

Stacks on Deck Entertainment
Founded 2004
Founder
  • DeAndre "Soulja Boy" Way (CEO)
  • Michael "Miami Mike" Sykes (President)
Status Active
Genre
Country of origin United States
Location
Official website http://sodmg.com/

Way founded his record label Stacks on Deck Entertainment (SODMG) in 2004, while Way was signed to Interscope and Collipark Music. Since founding the label he has signed various artists.

Current artists
Act Year
signed
Soulja Boy (CEO/founder)[150] 2004
JBar aka Ja-Bar (TOKE Team/SODMG)[150] 2008
Killa Cam[150] 2010
Killa J[150]
M2ThaK aka Big Keezy[150][151]
Tony The Deity[150]
Lil 100[150] 2011
Shawty Boy[150]
Spinning 9[150]
Bobby World[150] 2013
DJ Wats[150][152]
Lil Justin[150]
Paul Allen[150]
Soulja Kid[150]
J. Takin[150] 2014
Jay Lody[150]
Jski[150]
King Eazy[150]
King Reefa[150]
Lil E[150]
Maybacc[150]
ReeseMoneyBagz[150]
Arab (Boss Money/SODMG)[150][153] 2004–2010
2013–2014
2015
Calico Jonez (Swish Gang/SODMG)[150] 2011–2013
2015
Dae Dot[150] 2015
Pack Strong[150]
Former artists
Act
350
A. Goff
D.Flores
DJ Many
DJ Woogie
Hoodybaby
J Money aka J.Futuristic
John Boy[154]
Kwony Cash
Lil B
Lil Flo Malcom
Lil Playboii
Riff Raff
Show Stoppas
Young Sam
Mixtape releases

On March 19, 2009 SODMG artist JBar released his mixtape entitled Da Guap.[155] On May 23, 2009 SODMG artist Arab released his mixtape entitled Money Job.[156] On May 27, 2009 SODMG artist Arab released his mixtape entitled Arab Money.[157] On August 23, 2009 SODMG artist JBar released his mixtape entitled Voicemail.[158] On October 31, 2009 SODMG artist Lil Playboii released his mixtape entitled Double I Monster.[159] On December 9, 2009 SODMG artist Arab released his mixtape entitled Ching.[160]

On January 2, 2010 SODMG artist Big Hood Boss released his mixtape entitled Kushington & 4th.[161] On January 18, 2010 SODMG artist Arab released his mixtape entitled Fuk Way Dey Talkin Bout.[162] On February 23, 2010 SODMG artist Lil Playboii released his mixtape entitled Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.[163] On May 15, 2010 SODMG artist JBar as Ja-Bar released his mixtape entitled In The Club.[164][165] On August 5, 2010 SODMG artist Arab released his mixtape entitled The Package.[166] On August 9, 2010 SODMG artist JBar as Ja-Bar released his mixtape entitled House Party.[167]

On May 13, 2011 SODMG artist J. Money released his mixtape entitled Sauce 4 Sale.[168][169] On July 12, 2011 SODMG artist JBar as Ja-Bar released his mixtape entitled Grind Star.[170][171] On August 1, 2011 SODMG artist M2thaK released his mixtape entitled Spa$$$h.[172] On October 3, 2011 SODMG artist Calico Jonez released his mixtape entitled S.W.I.S.H.[173]

On January 10, 2012 SODMG artist JBar as Ja-Bar released his mixtape entitled #TOKE Vol. 1.[174][175] On February 12, 2012 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled Swag For Sale.[176] On March 1, 2012 SODMG artist JBar as Ja-Bar released his mixtape entitled TOKE Vol. 2.[177][178] On March 22, 2012 SODMG artist John Boy released his mixtape entitled GEEsH.[179][180][181] On March 26, 2012 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled Swag Gang General.[182] On August 1, 2012 SODMG artist JBar as Ja-Bar released his mixtape entitled Toke Team: Take On Knowledge Everyday.[183] On August 10, 2012 SODMG artist M2thaK released his mixtape entitled 08.10.12.[184] On September 4, 2012 SODMG artist Lil 100 released his mixtape entitled Gametime.[185] On November 10, 2012 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled Hitman For Hire.[186] On December 16, 2012 SODMG artist Arab as Arab 2059 released his mixtape entitled Reboot.[187]

On January 19, 2013 SODMG artist Lil 100 released his mixtape entitled SOD Champ Vol. 1.[188] On February 3, 2013 SODMG artist Spinning 9 released his mixtape entitled American Heart.[189] On February 14, 2013 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled Swag For Sale 2.[190] On June 14, 2013 SODMG artist JBar as Ja-Bar released his mixtape entitled TOKE Vol. 3: Sex And Weed.[191][192][193] On August 9, 2013 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled Hitman LaFlare.[194] On August 14, 2013 SODMG artist Shawty Boy released his mixtape entitled MBK Gang Vol. 1.[195] On September 13, 2013 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled The World Is Yours.[196] On September 13, 2013 SODMG artist M2thaK released his mixtape entitled Sin City.[197] On November 28, 2013 SODMG artist Spinning 9 released his mixtape entitled New School Exam.[198]

On January 5, 2014 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled Hitman For Hire 2.[199] On January 13, 2014 SODMG artist AGoff released his mixtape entitled SwagWars.[200] On April 25, 2014 SODMG artist Shawty Boy released his mixtape entitled Still Countin.[201] On May 18, 2014 SODMG artist Spinning 9 released his mixtape entitled NRW & CALIFORNIA.[202] On June 23, 2014 SODMG artist Paul Allen released his mixtape entitled Finesse Kid.[203][204] On July 8, 2014 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled Swag For Sale 3.[205][206] On October 9, 2014 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled The World Is Yours 2.[207][208] On October 31, 2014 SODMG artist King Reefa released his mixtape entitled In Stax We Trust.[209]

On June 4, 2015 SODMG artist Spinning 9 released his mixtape entitled GESCHLIFFENE DIAMANTEN.[210] On June 11, 2015 SODMG artist A.Goff released his mixtape entitled Hollywood.[211] On March 31, 2015 SODMG artist JBar released his mixtape entitled TOKE 4 (Stay Lifted).[212][213][214] On June 21, 2015 SODMG artist M2thaK released his mixtape entitled Ice Show.[215] On September 20, 2015 SODMG artist Dae Dot released his mixtape entitled I Go Loko.[216][217] On October 6, 2015 SODMG artist ReeseMoneyBagz released his mixtape entitled Anythings Possible.[218][219] On October 10, 2015 SODMG artist Jay Lody released his mixtape entitled Prince Jay Lody.[220] On November 22, 2015 SODMG artist Dae Dot released his mixtape entitled I Go Loko Pt. 2.[221][222] On December 22, 2015 SODMG artist ReeseMoneyBagz released his mixtape entitled Demon Of Chiraq.[223]

Album releases
  • 2007: Unsigned and Still Major: Da Album Before Da Album by Soulja Boy
  • 2007: Souljaboytellem.com by Soulja Boy
  • 2008: iSouljaBoyTellem by Soulja Boy
  • 2010: The DeAndre Way by Soulja Boy
  • 2013: All Black (EP) by Soulja Boy
  • 2014: Super Dope by Soulja Boy
  • 2014: King Soulja 3 by Soulja Boy
  • 2015: Loyalty by Soulja Boy
  • 2015: The Gold (EP)[224][225][226] by A.Goff
  • 2015: King Soulja 4 by Soulja Boy
  • 2016: Stacks On Deck by Soulja Boy
  • 2016: Better Late Than Never by Soulja Boy
Upcoming album releases
  • 2016: Blessed by Soulja Boy
  • 2016: Get Rich by Soulja Boy and Rich The Kid
  • 2016: King Soulja 4 Life by Rich Gang
  • 2016: TBA by Stacks on Deck Entertainment
  • 2016: TBA by Arab
  • 2016: TBA by JBar aka Ja-Bar

Record production

Way also produces records, including his own, primarily using the FL Studio digital audio workstation.[3] In 2009, Way produced V.I.C.'s single "Get Silly" which went certified gold and Bow Wow's single "Marco Polo". Way's beats often contain the beginning lines "Soulja Boy Tell 'em" but as of late Way has produced beats without these lines. In 2009, it was reported that Way would be producing for Kanye West's fourth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Kanye would be producing for Way's third studio album, The DeAndre Way, but for unknown reasons neither of them used each other's beat.[227] On May 13, 2011, Way stated that he had produced and submitted beats for 50 Cent's fifth studio album, Street King Immortal.[228] In 2013, Way also produced on the track "Wowzers" of Lil Wayne's album, I Am Not a Human Being II. On May 6, 2014, during an interview, Way announced that he was producing for Diddy's upcoming album M.M.M. and also for Lil Wayne's upcoming album Tha Carter V.[229][230] Soulja Boy also produced the song "Yasss Bish", on Nicki Minaj's album, The Pinkprint.[231] In April 2016, Soulja Boy received a writing credit on Beyoncé's visual album, Lemonade.[232]

Fashion designing

On March 5, 2008, Way released his official line of "S.O.D clothing".[233] That same year Way released his own brand of the popular shoe line, "Yums".[234] On February 14, 2012, Way and fashion designer D. Young created the official clothing line "Ocean Gang".[235][236][237] In 2012, Way released another line he created, "BLVD. Supply"; the store is located in Los Angeles, California.

Acting career

On January 7, 2009, Soulja Boy announced that he was to be releasing his own cartoon entitled Soulja Boy: The Animated Series but only one episode was ever released.[238][239]

In August 2010, Soulja Boy announced a desire to make a film about himself, having reported to MTV News that he discussed the idea with Nick Cannon.[240] He was later approached by Peter Spirer who presented his own concept for making a documentary about the artist.[241] Directed by Spirer, Soulja Boy: The Movie was released direct-to-video on October 18, 2011, a date which coincided with Soulja Boy's arrest on a drug charge.[241][242][243] The film contains live performances from his DeAndre Way Tour and interviews with Soulja Boy's father as well as current and former members of Stacks on Deck Entertainment.[241] The documentary was panned by DVD Verdict as offering poor video transfer, since much of its music detail was taken from YouTube clips.[244]

On April 22, 2011, Way announced that he would be making his acting debut playing the main role of Bishop in the Juice remake and that it would air on BET.[245]

In 2013, Way announced and confirmed that he was guest-starring in the upcoming movie Officer Down.[246]

World Poker Fund Holdings

In May 2016, Soulja Boy signed a deal from World Poker Fund Holdings for five years.[247] World Poker Fund is a builder and operator of online and event-based social gaming platforms and imprints.[247] Soulja said of the deal: "I enjoy music, and of course gaming. Being an influencer is a form of currency."[247] Way initially tweeted that the deal was for $400 million; however, that is the cap for the contract and not his payment from the company.[247]

Personal life

Legal issues

On December 9, 2007, Way was sued by William Lyons (a.k.a. Souljah Boy of Mo Thugs Family) who created the stage name Souljah Boy in 1996.[248] On October 7, 2009, Way was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia, on one count of obstruction, a misdemeanor, for running from police when he'd been ordered to stop while filming a video in an abandoned house. The rapper was released on a $550 bond.[249]

In May 2011, Way and his labels were sued by a local Pennsylvania promoter for failing to make promised payments in connection with a rescheduled concert.[250] On October 18, 2011, Way was traveling west on I-20 in Carroll County, Georgia, with four other men when their vehicle was pulled over for a vehicle equipment violation. The police officer who made the stop searched the vehicle and found more than five ounces of marijuana. Way was arrested and released on bond the same day.[251]

On January 22, 2014, Way was a passenger in his vehicle when the driver ran a stop sign in the San Fernando Valley, California. After it was pulled over, police discovered that Way had a loaded handgun in the car. He was then arrested immediately and taken to jail.[252] However, his manager claimed that a neighbor left the gun under the car seat; meanwhile Way was left unaware that it was there. Way only admitted to owning the vehicle, not the weapon, to the police.[253]

On February 15, 2014, Way announced via Twitter that he was going to jail in five days. He did not confirm the reason as to why, although it could possibly stem from the January 2014 arrest. Way ultimately never appeared to turn himself in to authorities and the details of his charges are unknown.[254]

In October 2016, Way was sued by a musician called Skrill Dilly about allegedly uttering death threats to him in a video filmed by the rapper.[255]

Robbery

On December 30, 2008, Way was robbed and battered in his home. Initial reports indicated that the robbers were six masked men with AK-47s and pistols but on December 31, 2008, videos surfaced on the Internet of two masked men claiming sole credit for the crime.[256]

Way 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.[257] On January 26, 2009, during another interview, Way clarified that it was three robbers and not six, stating: "I got back to my house at around 3 in the morning and I was in the studio recording. So two of my homeboys was in the living room and me and Arab we was in the studio recording. And somebody kicked in the door. One dude ran in put the AK to my homeboy head, put him on the floor [...] The other two ran in my homeboy jumped in the other room, so the other two dudes ran back so I peeped in the door and they running through my house with K's and pistol's so I ducked back. I really can't dwell on what happened after that, but it was a messed up situation and I'm glad everyone made it out alive."[258]

The police report made no mention of any gun fire to have taken place.

Family

On the night of March 22, 2011, Way's little brother, Deion Jenkins, was killed in a car crash.[259]

Public image

General

Way is known for having the first single ever to sell over 3 million in digital copies, due to the success of his commercially acclaimed debut single "Crank That (Soulja Boy)".[260]

Social media

Way has garnered popularity through the use of social media. Way's official YouTube channel has accumulated over 300 million views and over 600 thousand subscribers.[261] Way is also known for revolutionizing the way musical artists and labels promote and brand their music through the use of social media, due to his digital marketing in the beginning of his career.[262][263]

Controversies

Way's music has been banned from some school dances for alleged sexual or violent content and/or innuendos. However, he has denied these claims.[264] In the original YouTube video for "Shootout", Way demonstrates his dance while holding a handgun in each hand and pretending to shoot into the audience.[265]

Ice-T

In June 2008, on DJ Cisco's Urban Legend mixtape, Ice-T told Way to "eat a dick" and 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.[266] The two then traded videos back and forth over the Internet.[267] 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.[268] The feud was parodied in a 2010 episode of The Boondocks.

In May 2011, Way's feud with Ice-T somewhat reignited, regarding the film Juice. Way stated he would release a movie of his own to go along with his mixtape of the same name, following a statement during Ice-T's interview with Shade 45 in late April 2011. Ice-T stated that Way's role as Bishop, which was famously originated by rapper Tupac Shakur, was not an issue. But Ice-T found it problematic that the film was being remade, saying "What? But that's Pac... At some point, somebody gotta stop it. I came out. I made some statements. Man, I don't know. Do you, dude, do you. If the masses accept it, it shows you the state we're in... Come on man, you think I'd try to remake Pac's movie? Good luck though, I'm not a hater ... eh." Way himself barraged Ice-T with retaliatory tweets on the same day, stating that someone should "get this guy a hairline." [269][270]

Charles Hamilton

On December 9, 2008, Charles Hamilton said in an interview that Way was making it more difficult for new artists to be signed.[271] Way responded by saying "X out the Sonic and fuck with Mario, you might want to got damn eat a mushroom" (Charles Hamilton is known to be a big fan of Sonic the Hedgehog).[272][further explanation needed] Charles Hamilton responded with a diss song "I'm You Last Year With Talent"[273] followed-up with another diss song called "Word Aight".[274]

Bow Wow

On February 2, 2009, Way challenged Bow Wow to a race in their Lamborghinis and claimed Bow Wow's Lamborghini was a rental.[275] On February 4, Bow Wow proved that he owned his Lamborghini and said "its halloween in Bankhead for you everyday nigga... you scared... you all nervous and shit". Way responded on Twitter by saying "HE FUCKED UP!!!! IM BOUT TO SHITTTT ON THIS NIGGA!! LOL!!!!!"[276] On February 7, both artists sent diss songs to each other, such as Way's "Fuck Bow Wow" and Bow Wow's "What I Think About You".[277] Later that day during a phone conversation both rappers settled their differences.[278] In 2016, they released a joint mixtape titled Ignorant Shit.[279]

U.S. Armed Forces

In September 2011, Way released the song "Let's Be Real". One of the lines of the song is: "Fuck the FBI and fuck all the army troops / Fighting for what? Bitch, be your own man / I'll be flying through the clouds with green like I'm Peter Pan."[280] After the song was released, Way was highly criticized by military members and their families, especially in regards to the timing relative to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.[281][282][283] Way apologized, "When I expressed my frustration with the U.S. Army, not only did my words come out wrong, I was wrong to even speak them." He adds, "So, I write this to give my sincerest apology to all members of the United States military services, as well as their families that were offended by my most recent lyrics."[280] Representatives for Way indicated that the song had been pulled from his upcoming album, Promise, and would not be available for sale. They were also attempting to remove the video from the internet.[284]

On September 6, 2011, TMZ reported that Way's album wouldn't be sold at the 3,100 Army and Air Force base exchanges if it included the song "Let's Be Real".[285]

Hopsin

On August 25, 2012, Way made controversial comments towards fellow rapper Hopsin on one of his webcam chats with his fans, when Way stated "fuck Hopsin, I'm about to go in the studio and record this Hopsin diss real quick". Way continued on by stating the words "that nigga's a bitch, fuck that bitch-ass nigga".[286] The situation was caused by Hopsin's controversial song "Sag My Pants" which was a direct diss towards Way with the lines "Soulja Boy you got a corny flow, So you can suck my fucking dick through a glory hole" though Way previously didn't focus on the diss.[287] On August 28, 2012, on Way's Tinychat, Hopsin and Way confronted each other: though Hopsin admitted he liked Way, nothing was really resolved.[288] On September 3, 2012, Way released the Hopsin diss. It was entitled "That Nigga Not Me". Hopsin has not responded to the diss yet.[289][when?]

Chief Keef and Ballout

On April 19, 2013, Way sent a number of death threats to Chicago rapper Chief Keef via Facebook. The threats were likely provoked by an earlier incident, where Keef's affiliate Ballout stole Way's chain and bragged about it on Twitter. Way posted both of Keef's cellphone numbers, urging people to notify him he's coming for him with a gun. He continued posting, stating he's in Keef's hometown of Chicago and asking Keef and Ballout to come to him. Chief Keef responded that he is currently in London but would talk to Way on his new number. Later the same day, Way issued a statement that his Facebook, Instagram and email were hacked and none of the earlier messages were written by him.[290][291] On June 1, 2014, Way revealed on his Instagram that he and fellow artist Chief Keef had resolved their differences. Little is known as to whether Way has settled his differences with Ballout.[292]

Discography

Studio albums
Independent albums

Tours

Filmography

Film
Year Film Role Notes
2007 YouTube Live Himself Small Role
2008 What's at Stake? Himself Small Role
2009 School Gyrls Himself Cameo
2010 Malice N Wonderland Soulja Small Role
2011 Soulja Boy: The Movie Himself Documentary on his life
2013 Officer Down Rudy Supporting Role
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Himself
Last Call with Carson Daly Himself
2008 Live with Regis Himself Minor appearance
Access Granted Himself For his music video for "Bird Walk"
My Super Sweet 16 Himself
2010 When I Was 17 Himself
The Mo'Nique Show Himself
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Himself
Lopez Tonight Himself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Himself
2012 The DUB Magazine Project Himself
2013 The Bachelorette (season 9) Himself
2014–present Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood Himself Main Cast

Awards and nominations

  • BET Awards
  • 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)
  • Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
    • 2007: Favorite Male Singer (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" (Nominated)
    • 2009: Choice Music: Artist (Nominated)

See also

References

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