Soulja Boy Wants To Claim The Top Spot In Hip-Hop

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Soulja Boy was running late to his SXSW showcase. Last Saturday, XXL was scheduled to interview the Stacks On Deck Entertainment chief at 2:00 p.m. The time was pushed to 3:00 p.m., but still there were no signs of Soulja. When 4:00 p.m. finally came around, he arrived with Migos in tow, causing pandemonium as everyone rushed to get pictures with the entourage that also included Rich Homie Quan, PeeWee Longway, Johnny Cinco and Rich The Kid. This was already shaping up to be something big.

Soulja Boy and Migos performing together wasn’t your typical showcase. As headliners for Player’s Ball SXSW House Party, they were scheduled to shut down an imitate setting located far from the downtown experience of Austin. The two-story crib was equipped with a Jacuzzi and a backyard pool—perfect for a group of rappers who always scream “turn up!” in their songs. Soulja and his boys positioned themselves at the balcony—which also doubled as a scene for their “Make It Work” video—and kept everyone anticipating the craziness that was about to happen.

Just before his performance in the evening, we caught up with him for a quick update on everything going on in his world. The 23-year-old hitmaker spoke on haters, the forthcoming video for “We Made It” with Drake, his recent jail stint, and how he plans on being the top rapper in the game.Eric Diep

XXL: You don’t have an album or mixtape out yet, but here you are at SXSW and your fan base still sticks with you heavy.
Soulja Boy: I rock with my fans always. Ever since I started, ever since I’ve been doing my music, it’s just been a blessing. I just keep doing my thing, keep putting out music, keep making beats, keep collab-ing with different artists. I just let the people gravitate towards me. You know what I am saying?

At 23, I feel like you are a veteran in the game. What have been your biggest accomplishments in your career?
When I got that platinum album [Laughs]. I work hard. Everybody work hard to go platinum. When my single went platinum, I had a lot of platinum singles. I think that was a lot to do with the success, but when my album went platinum, I just thought it was crazy. I just got an award from Vevo for 100 million views that was crazy. Getting nominated for a Grammy. I didn’t win, though. Kanye beat me, but I got nominated for a Grammy. I’ve performed at the Awards. Just everything. I think all of this is a blessing—everything that I do.

Everybody knows you can make a turn up banger, but people like the weird songs like “Zan With That Lean.” Are you continuing to make music that’s uncharacteristic for you on the next album?
I’m just doing Soulja. I’m just doing my thing. “Zan With That Lean” was different. I still got a whole lot of swag. I got more new music that’s coming out like that. I got catchy hooks. I got songs that I am storytelling on. Shit you can play in the club, everybody still turn up. Music go crazy. I got some tracks on there. I don’t know, I’ve just been working. I feel like when you try and focus on making a hit—”Oh, this song gonna be a hit”—that’s when you stress yourself out and don’t make music that you want.

When you go into the studio, are you thinking of making the next “Crank That” or “Speakers Going Hammer”?
If I go into the studio, my main mentality is to go hard. No matter what it is. Go hard. Go hard. Just put out different type of music. Be versatile. I can make music like “Kiss Me Thru The Phone.” I can do “Foreign Cars” and “Versace.” Part of me is to switch it up.