DeAndre Cortez Way, better known as Soulja Boy, has been rapping since he was in high school but made it big with 'Crank That (Soulja Boy)' in 2007. Not only did the song become a chart-topper, but it also became a cultural phenomenon with everyone from athletes to school kids wanting to do the dance. With three albums under his belt already and one to release a few days after his birthday, this isn't bad for someone who's turning 23.
So in honor of his birthday (July 28), TheDrop.fm presents a list of 10 Things You Didn't Know About Soulja Boy.
'Crank That (Soulja Boy)' is hot on the digital charts.
With record sales not what they used to be, Soulja Boy made history when he became the first artist whose song sold three million digital copies on Jan. 6, 2008.
He had his own animated series.
Like many artists who want to dabble in different mediums, Soulja Boy thought it would be cool to start his own cartoon series. Starring the rapper (of course), the show looks like it's geared toward a younger audience as it's set in high school. In the first (and only episode), Soulja Boy avoids summer school by entering a good project in the science fair. The episode also features Alfonso Ribeiro (aka Carlton Banks) and MTV's Sway.
'Crank That' is featured in a video game.
It's no secret that 'Crank That (Soulja Boy)' became a cultural phenomenon when it was released in 2007. However, it seemed to also enter the world of video games. Not only was it one of the featured song levels on Xbox 360's 'Dance Central,' but it's also featured on in the 'World of Warcraft.'
He's admitted to packing heat.
After Soulja Boy was robbed in December 2008, the rapper wanted to make sure that he and his friends were safe. So aside from amping up security at his home, he revealed that he got a gun. He told PopEater, "I keep a pistol in every room now. You know, my bodyguards stay strapped now, you know what I'm saying?"
Unfortunately, he did get in trouble for carrying a gun. In 2011, he was arrested on drug and gun possession charges. Despite all of this, he told the Wall Street Journal in 2012, "I don't even think like that. I've been thinking positive. I don't tote guns or nothing like that, you know what I'm saying?"
Looks like he's learned his lesson.
He'll retweet you -- if you pay him.
Hard times have hit many people these days. So when Soulja Boy needed to make some extra cash, he started his own mini business on Twitter. If you want the 'Bird Walk' rapper to follow you on the social network, it'll cost you $1.99 and $3.99 for a retweet.
He takes some pricey risks.
During Super Bowl XLVII, the odds of who would win were split -- as they usually are. However, for Soulja Boy, he was pretty confident about betting $200,000 on the Baltimore Ravens. While they did beat the San Francisco 49ers, his instincts about this bet were a little unconventional. According to TMZ, Soulja only betted on the Ravens because that is the team he plays with in 'Madden NFL 13.'
The rhymer recorded a song in support of Invisibile Children’s #KONY2012 campaign.
In 2012, Invisible Children, a youth-led organization, started a movement to spread awareness and essentially stop the Lord's Resistance Army in Central Africa and its leader, Joseph Kony. While the campaign seemed to be all over the media, there were some people who were inspired by it -- one of them being Soulja Boy. Soon after the campaign went viral, the rapper decided to release a song in support of the movement called, 'Stop Kony.' While the track has had various mixed reviews, perhaps this shows the social awareness side of the rapper.
Chris Brown and Soulja Boy almost collaborated.
When Soulja Boy was in the studio to record, 'Kiss Me Thru The Phone,' he was set on recruiting Chris Brown to help him out on the hook. Unfortunately, the 'As Your Friend' singer turned down the offer. After trying to do it on his own (with a little Auto-Tune help), Soulja Boy asked his friend Sammie to get on the mic and that's what ended up as the final recording.
Soulja Boy's 'Kiss Me Thru The Phone' actually included a real phone number.
When Soulja Boy was writing 2008's 'Kiss Me Thru The Phone,' he didn't realize that the phone number he spits out in the beginning of the track would actually be someone's real phone number. When the song released in the U.K. the following year, a couple were slammed with at least 60 calls a day from fans hoping they would be reaching the rapper.
Soulja Boy is banned from the military.
While we, as Americans, have the right to freedom of speech, there are times when we probably should keep our mouths shut. Unfortunately, Soulja Boy didn't learn that lesson. In September 2011, he released, 'Let's Be Real,' where he spits, "F--- the FBI and f--- 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."
He was criticized by the military and their families, especially since the release coincided with the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Soulja Boy apologized and even removed the video for the song from the web. However, it was too late, and the military has put a ban on his music.