Happy Independence Day, y’all. I hope everyone is doing Stone Cold Steve Austin impersonations over a pit of read meat while rap music plays loudly in your immediate vicinity. To celebrate America in the most perfect, this Tumblr-centric way I possibly could, I had my friend Drew Millard do a track-by-track deep dive into Souljaboytellem.com, the first album by American Patriot Soulja Boy. Drew has been my Internet friend since he was a college graduate trying to break into #viral #content, and now he’s a grown ass dude who works at Noisey and who writes shit that can send the NY Rap Community into fucking convulsions. I guess I’m saying Drew rules and you should follow him on Twitter.
On October 2nd, 2007, the world was irrevocably changed. On that day, the President of South Korea walk across the DMZ into North Korea as a gesture of goodwill towards Kim Jong Il. And, uh, because MOTHERFUCKING SOULJA BOY PUT OUT HIS FIRST RECORD.
It is called souljaboytellem.com. Because the world is full of miracles, if you type “www.souljaboytellem.com” into your web browser, you will automatically be redirected to Soulja Boy’s twitter account. Because Soulja Boy is the best, Andrew asked me to write about his first album. Though it’s not his best album (that’d be the criminally unheralded The DeAndre Way), it is definitely his first. And, in case you were wondering, Soulja Boy has been a motherfucking innovator since day one. Let’s take a trip down souljaboytellem.com lane.
Soulja Boy and Mr. Collipark, the guy who produced a gazillion Ying Yang Twinz songs plus “Ms. New Booty,” rehash the introduction of Pinky and the Brain. “FROM THE INTERNET TO MAINSTREAM,” Soulja yells. But Soulja—the internet is mainstream. Time is a flat circle, Kermit meme, etc.
Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)
This song is basically “Y.M.C.A.” for our generation, except awesome. Soulja Boy is the true example of disruption in the tech sphere.
I never had a sidekick, but Mr. Collipark cooks up a Marsian snap beat to make me really fucking jealous I never had one. This might be an early example of #Branded #Content, or maybe Soulja Boy was just super amped he suddenly had money after coming from nothing and decided it was easier to articulate that feeling of intense, unknowable relief through defining himself by the products he was now capable of owning. Either way, this song slaps.
Snap and Roll
Pales in comparison to “Party Like a Rockstar” by Shop Boyz, but at least Soulja Boy is super open about the fact that he’s trying to create both a snap-rock song, as well as a dance for said snap-rock song.
AT LAST, THE TRAGIC FIGURE THAT IS ARAB REARS HIS HEAD. Arab was Soulja Boy’s best friend, but then Arab got tired of being his friend and stopped rapping with him. This song is dope because it sounds like DJ Mustard will eventually rip the beat off.
Let Me Get ‘Em
Seriously, the beats on this record are fucking out of this world. If this had come out right now, people would be freaking the fuck out.
This is a song about butts.
So, we must confront the glaringly obvious. “Yahhh!” has not aged well. On the other hand, it’s still really fun to wave your hands in someone’s face while screaming “YAHHH!!!!”, so what the fuck do I know.
Pass It to Arab
I want to move inside of this beat. I seriously forgot how incredible the productions on this were. This one has this weird little flute-whistle thing, an 808 drumbeat, and then the sort of bass that sounds like you’re just beating a trash can against the side of a tin building. You could argue that Soulja Boy should have tried harder at rapping on this, but you’d be missing the point and I’d have to wave my hands in your face and yell “YAHHH!” at you.
Sadly, not all songs on your debut album can be fun bangers about new dances you’ve invented. Article 1, Clause 17.5 of the Music Industry Handbook clearly states that you’ve got to have at least one song on your debut album explicitly for the ladies. Fortunately, this one’s pretty dank, and it’s the only time on the album Soulja Boy shows you he’s just as adept at rapping at whatever lyrically ass lyrical rapper you like, nerd.
This is basically a 2 Live Crew song, and that is decidedly a good thing. I actually just went on Pirate Bay and downloaded this, because I’m DJing a party tomorrow night and I’m gonna play like five songs from this during my set.
The most martial, menacing soundscape to ever start with, “Man I just got my report card today, mane. I looked at it, it had all F’s on it. I took it back to the teacher, told her, ‘Throw some D’s on it!’”
Yet again, Soulja Boy innovates, this time by using the term “thirsty” in a rap song years before hipsters could use it on Twitter.
Don’t Get Mad
All good things, including souljaboytellem.com, must come to an end. Fortunately, Soulja Boy drops some lyrical miracles to remind you of all he’s accomplished. Probably the most honest line he’s ever written is, “It’s amazing what I did with a mic and the internet.”
The end. I’m gonna go cry now.