“Crank That (Soulja Boy)” may not be the wave anymore — along with the rest of ringtone raps — but Soulja Boy‘s career achievement isn’t simply that song. His big accomplishment is how he got that song to be a No. 1 Billboard hit and how he just kept those hits coming. Soulja Boy turns 25 years old today (July 28).
The rapper was just a 16-year-old out of Atlanta when “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” saturated the airwaves in 2007. The hit was a result of him spending his teen years as an unsigned artist fiddling with a demo version of FL Studio and manually posting his songs online. Although his Souljaboytellem.com album was met with a universally negative critical response, the debut effort has sold almost a million copies to date.
“Crank That (Soulja Boy)” was a dance single and Soulja Boy didn’t show much versatility outside of those kind of Sidekick-friendly ringtone songs. But Blackberrys were coming in and many counted Soulja Boy out as a one-hit wonder. Not the case. “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” became another hit, and “Turn My Swag On” — perhaps Soulja’s most enduring single — proved he had more jams up his sleeve.
“Turn My Swag On” ended up becoming his last true hit. But although it came out back in 2008, the rhymer still found relevancy because of some key features like Trey Songz’s “LOL Smiley Face” and, most recently, Nicki Minaj’s “Yasss Bish.” The world awaits to see if Soulja Boy can bounce back again after having a dry run. His most recent mixtape, M & M: Money & Music, dropped July 23.
Watch Soulja Boy’s “Crank That (Soulja Boy)”
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