Skip to content

Soulja Boy – The Crank That Rapper Who Made It Big

Full Name DeAndre Cortez Way
Age 33 years old
Birthday July 28, 1990
Relationship Status Single
Height 5‘ 8"
Net Worth $30 million
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube

Soulja Boy is an iconic American rapper, producer, entrepreneur and actor who took the music world by storm in 2007 with his breakout smash hit "Crank That (Soulja Boy)". Born DeAndre Cortez Way, he first made waves in the rap scene as a teenager and achieved incredible success and influence at a young age.

Early Life and Passion for Music

Soulja Boy was born on July 28, 1990 in Chicago, Illinois before his family moved to Atlanta when he was just six years old. From a young age, he was hooked on hip-hop music and began practicing rap lyrics and routines during his childhood.

At 14, he converted the basement of his family‘s Atlanta home into a makeshift recording studio. He started creating mixtapes and built up a following on early social sites like MySpace and SoundClick. Driven and talented even as a teen, Soulja Boy was devoted to making it big as a rapper.

Overnight Success with "Crank That" in 2007

In May 2007, Soulja Boy recorded and released "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" with an accompanying homemade music video. The track was an instant viral hit, gaining millions of views on YouTube within weeks. By September, it had topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song spawned an international dance craze and catapulted the 17-year-old rapper to stardom. His debut album, released in October 2007, peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard 200. My personal favorite songs from the album include "Yahhh!", "Let Me Get Em" and "Snap and Roll".

"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" ultimately spent 7 non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the Hot 100, cementing Soulja Boy‘s status as a musical phenomenon.

Continued Music Career and Entrepreneurism

Over the next several years, Soulja Boy remained highly prolific, releasing successful follow-up singles like "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" and "Turn My Swag On" as well as numerous studio albums. While his music popularity has waxed and waned since his first album, he‘s still managed to churn out hits and continues making music today.

Beyond music, Soulja Boy also:

  • Launched his own record label, Stacks on Deck Entertainment
  • Starred in several movies, including a leading role in Officer Down (2011)
  • Designed his own clothing line of hoodies, shirts and hats
  • Created and marketed his own game consoles, starting with SouljaGame in 2018

His entrepreneurial drive and diverse business ventures have contributed to his current net worth of around $30 million.

Why Soulja Boy Became So Influential

There are several key reasons why Soulja Boy made such an indelible mark on hip-hop music and culture:

  • His songs like "Crank That" popularized dance rap and influenced hip-hop‘s sound in the late 2000s.
  • He authentically tapped into youth culture and used social media to promote himself.
  • His DIY approach to making and marketing music inspired future artists.
  • He achieved so much at such a young age, becoming a teenage rap icon.

Soulja Boy‘s impact on the rap game extended beyond just one viral hit. He changed hip-hop marketing forever and defined pop culture for a generation of young fans like myself.

Soulja Boy‘s Ongoing Legacy

Now 33, Soulja Boy is still releasing music and expanding his business empire. While he‘s remained mired in some controversies over the years, his influence on hip-hop is undeniable.

Every few years, "Crank That" finds a resurgence in popularity as the iconic anthem resonates with new generations of fans. For many millennials like me, Soulja Boy was the soundtrack to our adolescence.

Even with his career ups and downs, Soulja Boy remains embedded in rap history. His success story is a reminder that drive and ingenuity can make dreams come true – especially if you "Crank That Soulja Boy" along the way!