After listening to Soulja Boy’s debut album Souljboytellem.com, a fitting title for the internet fueled 16-year old sensation, I was fully prepared to write, “this album is so bad even O.J. wouldn’t steal it.” Then I read this quote from Mr. Collipark, the label-boss/producer who signed Soulja Boy; “The kids looked at his music as something that was just theirs, but if you’re not hip to it you’re gonna look at him as a one hit wonder.” Damn it Collipark, now I’m not so sure. Have I become just another old guy complaining about these …
Fans can also check out Soulja Boy's previous albums: Soulja Boy - iSouljaBoyTellEm
DJBooth Album Review
Now I’ve never done crack, but I have listened to Crank That, and I’m honestly not sure which one is more addictive. From the second those steel drums clink across the speakers you’re hooked. Part snap, part crunk, the track absolutely demands you do the dance (though judging by those You Tube clips, white people are still practicing). It’s got my vote for single of the year.
Souljaboytellem.com has a few other dance floor packers with Crank That potential. Soulja Boy’s best chance at another hit is Let Me Get 'Em, a song sure to be banned at schools even with the disclaimer that “shootout is a dance and not intended to incite any violent behavior.” Sure there’s gunshots galore, but unlike the deadly seriousness of 50 it’s full of drum rolls and energetic synths made for having fun, not mean mugging. Soulja Boy is almost vocally absent on the track, he’s more dance instructor than MC. What did you expect from a club smash? Snap and Roll picks up on the hard rock trend with production that features guitars screaming over minimal percussion, punctuated by what can only be called birdcalls. The beat’s hot, but if you want good lyrics, or really any lyrics at all, this is not your song. One verse actually consists of, “Snap and roll/roll and snap/soulja boy gonna throw those things/do my dance up in the club.” Not everyone can be Hova, but at this point I’d settle for the lyrical mastery of Huey.
We’ve all had friends insist we have to see some incredible movie, but by the time the credits roll you’re still not impressed (Wedding Crashers comes to mind). The bulk of Souljaboytellem.com is like that for me, it’s hard to figure out what I’m not getting. With legions of female fans it only made sense to drop Soulja Girl, a harmoniously paced slow jam featuring i15 on the chorus and Soulja Boy putting in his best rhyme work, but that’s not saying much. Is he really so cute it makes up for the lack of musical quality? Why not just listen to Chris Brown? Then again, what do I know? I’ll have to ask my niece. She Thirsty is Soulja Boy’s attempt at a Whisper Song. The beat’s spacious and he delivers his vocals with a quiet ease, but how could girls want him “wifed up”? I don’t think marriage is even legal when you’re that young. A track like this is best left to the grown men. I’m way past the days of being bored in math class, but if I was, I could definitely feel the rebellious swagger and knocking marching band beat of Report Card. Soulja Boy asks his teachers to “throw some d’s” on his report card instead of f’s, fair enough. Though for the kids out there it turns out learning how to write a decent sentence can actually get you paid. Trust me.
Call me an out of touch old man if you want, but there’s a few songs on Souljaboytellem.com I refuse to admit aren’t garbage. Booty Meat and Donk make My Humps look like Shakespeare, Yahhh! is unbelievably annoying (it’s based on South Park’s “Timmy!”) and Sidekick is a song entirely about, well, sidekicks. They’re all terrible, but I realize I’m not the target audience. Listen, in the end it’s this simple: if you’ve memorized Illmatic don’t buy this album, if you’re young and on MySpace a few hours every day you’ve probably already downloaded it. My teenage years are firmly in my rear view mirror, but not so far back I can’t recognize the appeal of Soulja Boy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go write my name on my sunglasses in white out.
DJBooth Rating - 2.5 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on 10/1/07
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First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Crank Dat Soulja Boy (Supaman Dat Hoe)" (2007)
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