Type “Soulja Boy” into YouTube, click the video for “Crank Dat” (with more than 158 million views, mind you) and dance along as you listen to the hip-hop song that took 2007 by storm.
DeAndre “Soulja Boy” Way always knew he was going to be “the next big thing” in the rap game — and even said as much on the Wikipedia page that he created for himself when he was 15. He worked at Burger King in high school, but before he was 20 “Crank That” helped him earn a major record deal and a Grammy nomination.
But it doesn’t stop at the crank.
Songs like “Pretty Boy Swag,” “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” and “Turn My Swag On” solidified his role as the inventor of swagger rap. In fact, he tells EW that when he was hanging out with Justin Bieber last week, Bieber told him that no one would be using the word “swag” (which Way defines as anything that is dope, fly or different) if it weren’t for Soulja Boy’s music.
“I come off the stage from performing for 20,000 people? That’s swag,” Way says. “I pull up with the new Versace jacket on? That’s swag.”
Soulja Boy is also known for sharing swag pictures with his 45 million social media followers. While he already owns many of the items (a Bentley, Maserati, Rolex, Hugo Boss watch) from his favorite book, Luxury Items for Men, he plans to purchase a two-seater jet that can take off from the water.
When Soulja Boy comes to Eugene, expect to hear all of his old hits as well as tracks from the brand-new release King Soulja 3. He says the album features “bigger collaborations and producers” than earlier work.
“Every college that I go to, they’re always crunk. You know what I’m saying? I always have a good time,” he says.
Soulja Boy performs with Wavey Jones, Poverty’s Posterboy and Prince Hyph 8 pm Saturday, Aug. 9, at the UO EMU Ballroom; $20 adv., $25 door. Tickets available at elixr.cc/souljaboyeugene.