Soulja Boy: Super Soakin You Hoes!

posted October 22, 2007 12:00:00 AM CDT | 96 comments

This is a young mans game, scrap and Soulja Boy Tell Em is trying to school all of us on the new ways of Hip Hop, Inc. As record sales are still declining, Soulja Boy (ne DeAndre Cortez Ramone Way) to date pushed 105,000 of his debut album and is number four on the charts. The viral campaign that he instrumented has been seen before, but never spread amongst this level. Crank Dat has been redone, reheated and served in various forms on YouTube and SoundClick with many teens trying to duplicate the song that Soulja Boy has made into a smash.

With Way making one out of nothing, Soulja Boy Tell Em signed a deal with ATL hit-maker, Mr. Collipark and his Collipark Records. Having already gone platinum on the ringtone charts, Soulja Boy is making more than just his dance mainstream. Being talked about for his youthful exuberance, there is indeed a change in the game, and Soulja Boy is here to speak with HipHopDX and tell em about his humble beginnings, how the shift in the industry may stop online thievery and answers if super soakin dat ho is cool for the kiddies. Was the dance around before the song or was the song and the dance all one in the same?
Soulja Boy: It was the song first, then the dance came afterwards. The response that I got from it was crazy. It got a fast response. After that everyone else was putting out their own versions of the dance and the song. When I saw her [Beyonc] do it, I didnt know that it had become such a phenomenon. She was doing it while she was on tour and I thought that it was wild.

DX: You've got everybody and their moms doing the dance. Hell, even on 106 & Park Samuel L. Jackson wanted to learn how to do it. How did that make you feel?
SB: It made me feel great. When I saw him do it, it was amazing. It was something that I created and something that I started and it was cool. I love that people are showing it and me love.

DX: Being that you represent Mississippi and Atlanta places where dancing is a way of life was the music more so an escape from your regular life? Or was there something deeper to it than just your love of an 808-drum?
SB: Music, at first, I wasnt taking it seriously, I was playing around. After that I began to take it really seriously. I was making other stuff at first, but it wasnt anything like what I got now. I make music for the people who are from where Im from and do what I like to do. I write the lyrics and make the beats. A lot of people want to hear that.

DX: In your bio, you say that music affected your grades. Since you were concentrated on production than Algebra how did your moms feel about that?

SB: I was staying with my daddy at the time. He was on some other stuff. He wasnt knocking what I was doing, but he wanted me to get my education.

DX: But by being on the road how are you going to do what you want and respect your fathers wishes?

I have my tutor. I am going to complete school. Hopefully, my career will be where I want it to be, but right now, Im doing crazy shows now. Its a really hectic schedule that I am going through. Im catching flights everyday, but its all good because this is what I love to do.

DX: Your hustle is really tied in to what anyone with a dollar and a dream would have for themselves. When you look back at the progress that youve made so far from posting on SoundClick to signing a deal with a major player in the game with Mr. Collipark what has been the one thing that youve learned while navigating through the music industry?

The radio doesnt work how I thought it did. I thought that you had to go through a lot more, but I will say that it is really, really hard dealing with the radio. I definitely see how it is. Im up to 7,000 spins, now. But before I got my deal, I couldnt even get seven. [Laughs] Id rather just deal with the video outlets. Videos are on the Internet, 24/7. If you request something on there, you can pretty much find it anywhere and itll get non-stop, continuous play.

DX: Do you feel that other people are trying to capitalize on the craze by making their own variations like Crank Dat Spongebob or Crank Dat Aquaman"?

SB: Yeah, people are trying to copy and capitalize on my success. I look at it like it is flattery. Its great because I look at it like theyre a fan of my music. I spoke with some of the guys who tried to do it; theyre trying to make it in the rap game, too. At the end of the day, its flattery and I have no problem with that.

DX: Youve worked harder at a younger age than most cats in their thirties. Ultimately, where do you see your music and career headed towards as you get older?

Honestly, I see me releasing artists off of my label and my next act is my boy, Arab. Hes going to come out in 2008. Im going to continue to produce. I did a song recently called "Get Silly." I want to just expand. Im a part of the new breed Hurricane Chris; thats my dog. Were through the same peoples, you know? Sean Kingston; hes my boy, too. Id like to work with 50 Cent, Lil Boosie or Outkast just to name a few. I would love to work with them all.

DX: There seems to be a shift in rap music right now where the young cats are coming through and are able to talk about the streets, but not with too much vulgarity and are able to allow everyone to have fun and dance, peacefully. Since your voice is on the radio, television and the Internet what would you want to say to the cats who are older than you who promote nothing but violence?
SB: Really, at the end of the day, a song is a song. It can be retarded there are now some cats who are used to a vibe and once something new comes along, theyre scared of it. All these people are out here are doing this dance and it looks weird to someone whos not used to hearing it. There are millions of people who love this song and love to do the dance, but to me anyone whos doing their thing, I will respect it. I respect people for doing what they do. Its all about their grind and how they handle it.

DX: You went from playing around to full fledged artist. Explain how you got into this whole rap game?

It was the summer of 2005 and I was going to my cousins house for the summer. He had a computer at his house. We were just making parodies of other peoples songs. But one day, I had made a song for real, you know what Im saying? My cousin gave me the Fruity Loops program and I began uploading the beats I made on SoundClick. From then point on, I started making more from that. Ive gotten better from when I first started.

HHDX: What do you have to say to people who call your music ignorant?
SB: Id say that theyre ignorant. Music is a way of life. I just represent the stuff that I go about doing. At the end of the day, my music is based towards a certain audience.

DX: Do you think that super soak that ho is right for the certain audience that dances to your songs?

I think that its good for everybody. Its all good. If that lil kid is talking about super soak, theyre still having fun. I get a lot of love from the kids and kids around my age. I just shot a video in Rucker Park and I got love all over.

DX: Whats next for Soulja Boy considering how big Crank Dat Soulja Boy has become?

I just shot the "Soulja Girl" video. I just dropped it off to the stations. "Crank Dat" is number one in the country. I think that its great. Im just doing my thing. Im just trying to push the "Soulja Girl" and make that pop off. Im trying to push 150,000 to 200,000 for the first week sales. I think that the way that I pushed my album is new and innovative. The way that its marketed is fresh. Its how, I feel, that the game has changed. The way that you present yourself, you can go platinum on the strength of who you are.

DX: Do you think Hip Hop is a youthful culture considering that an artist like Jay-Z is almost twice your age?

SB: Yeah, man. I think that its real youthful. I just turned 17. My first song is coming out and this means that a lot of people who I watched, Im now around them. Its just a big change for me.

DX: Is it all about selling records or ringtones?

SB: I think its about selling albums. You sell no ringtones, its good, as long as you sell some albums. You sell no albums and sell some ringtones, youre at risk.

DX: A few years from now do you think people will look at your promotional/marketing scheme as innovative?

I think a few years from now, youre going to see a lot of people doing what I did. You know how I got my deal? Just think about it two, three years from now, people are trying to download songs for free and imagine if you go to download a song and you cant never get them. Its going to ruin that person from trying to get it for free. Its going to kill all that downloading it.

DX: When do you look at the rest of the industry and see the decline in sales what steps should the record companies do to create a change?

At the end of the day, the record companies dont have a big cause in your album flopping. Its you. I think its about the artist promoting themselves. I talk to my fans everyday. Were moving shirts, posters on the website. The ringtone is platinum plus and weve had Youtube access and all that! Its about how you market yourself to your fans. I holla at them [the fans], I have my Sidekick up there, all the time. Im always on the go, but I can always know what they want to hear. Once my album drops, my core audience would be able to understand that I did this for them. Youre going to have haters, of course, but if you stay in touch with your fans super hard, youll be good. The record company is going to do their part. But Im doing mines. They gave me creative control over everything, I let them know. Right now, Im in the black. If I flop, Ive already made back my money. I got me a plan. When those numbers come out, I already know what my next move will be.

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