How Soulja Boy really conquered New York

“55,000 people all jammin’ to “Swag On” in the middle of New Jersey – it’s crazy. I guess New York finally showin’ me some love.” – Soulja Boy, on his appearance at Summer Jam this past weekend

Could it be that people who know from good music are finally starting to warm up to Soulja Boy, or is it that we’re getting too tired to hate anymore, in our old age? Of course I’m gonna suggest it’s the latter.

I’ve been hearing for the past several weeks now that Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On,” or whatever it’s called, has been blowing up on New York radio. This despite the fact that the album didn’t seem to do anything back when it was released, and I know the label had gone so far as to give it away for free. And that was after the album had already been pushed back a few times, when the other singles from it failed to ignite. I thought we might finally be done with Soulja Boy. I suppose I should have known we weren’t.

The fact that a Soulja Boy song would blow up in New York, and that his performance at Summer Jam would go over well is hardly surprising to me, in that of course a bad song is gonna have a lot of success on the radio, let alone in New York, which has the worse radio evar. More so than anywhere else I’ve ever been, New York plays the same three songs over and over again. And in many cases, it’s either reggae, or some sort of bullshit rap no one likes anywhere other than New York. For example, I don’t think that people get that you basically never hear Jay-Z on the radio here in the Midwest. People just plain don’t give a shit about him. And that’s Jay-Z – not, like Dipset or some shit.

Then there’s the fact that a lot of people are just getting tired of hating on Soulja Boy and his ilk – if that’s what they’re gonna play on the radio, they’ll just get Sirius, or listen to an iPod or some shit. And if that’s who’s gonna be at Summer Jam, they’ll just stay home and stroke it to Internets pr0n. It’s easier to just try to avoid it than constantly rage against it. Case in point, I couldn’t even bring myself to say anything about the cover of this month’s issue of XXL – with Soulja Boy and a buncha other bum-ass southern rappers – when I saw it a few weeks ago. And I notice hardly anyone else had anything to say about it.

My tall Israeli benefactors must be pissed. You’d have to think they put those clowns on there just to get a rise out of people. It’s not like any of them are worthy of being on the cover on the basis of popularity. I’m assuming that’s why it’s all four of them and not just Soulja Boy himself. A solo Soulja Boy cover, with him doing something especially ignorant, like taking a piss on some money, might have been really controversial. But who knows? People stay watching his videos on YouTube, but you can’t pay them to buy his album. The TIs couldn’t afford to have that happen to this month’s issue, what with the state of the economy. This way, they could give some shine to some bums the major labels are trying to push, and perhaps ensure themselves some advertising money, like they did with that Freshman 10 issue.

Whereas the Internets are still going nuts over that Freshman 10 (I wouldn’t be surprised if ends up on Charles Hamilton’s epitaph), the only discussion I saw was on the blog of the late, great (well, the late anyway) Maurice Garland. You could tell he was kinda upset that this issue was supposed to spotlight his native ATL, and the were the four bums they chose to represent. It’s not like these regional issues, like the one last year with Rawse, Trina et al., are definitely supposed to focus on up and coming artists. Presumably, this is who XXL felt were the four hottest rappers out of the A right now. But you know how southern rap lacks any kind of self-correction mechanism. It’s why southern rappers all get along so well. So, he wasn’t gonna hate or anything. He was just saying.

I saw a copy of the ATL issue the other day at the grocery store, when I finally got a chance to look at the Vibe with the bullshit blog list. I started to pick it up and flip through it, but I was just like, fuck it. It’s not like I felt salty about it or anything. It just didn’t interest me in the least bit. And keep in mind, I’m not suggesting you do the same. Someone’s gotta make sure we don’t go out of business.

  • OG Matt Herbz

    Hey, New York. You know what? You can have Soulja Boy…just keep him. Nah, no need to thank me, just get him the fuck out of here. Oh, and if anyone asks–You don’t know me. There, now get to stepping, asshole.

    –OG Matt Herbz–

  • escobar9300

    Damn, Herbz got the first post before I could get my Pierzy on. lol On the reach, the Soulja boy bitch needs to dissappear ASAP. And trust me, bullshit rap stations arent exclusive to NY. Power 98 out here in phoenix is complete bullshit music 24/7, and youre more likley to see the Virgin Mary in your damn cheerios than you would hearing a Nas track out here. The radio in phoenix is a joke and they refuse to play quality music. Fuckin wack

    • BIGNAT

      “youre more likley to see the Virgin Mary in your damn cheerios than you would hearing a Nas track out here”

      that is just sad what is crazy to me is people still listen to the radio. i have not fucked with radio since 03-04

      • http://samiswhoiam.tumblr.com Sam

        “i have not fucked with radio since 03-04″

        holla i dont get why anyone would run the radio anymore. i just bump my ipod/discman anywhere i am. got that little cord to connect it to my car. i dont ever have to listen to bullshit, or commericals. the only thing it means is working a bit to find new music.

  • yoprince

    if I still lived in Atlanta I’d prolly hate Soulja Boy… as it is, I almost never have to hear SB, so I can kinda dig the very random times I hear Turn My Swag On.. and even Kiss Me Thru the Phone.. shit’s mad catchy.

    in fact I just heard that Swag Surf joint for the first time ever in a NY club last weekend… shit was bangin… thank god I’ll prolly never hear it again until I’m drunk in another NY party. i don’t even know the name of the artist, but my boy told me they’re from around my way.. eastside ATL. good to know a nigga(s?) made it.. at least somewhat

  • DV8

    “A solo Soulja Boy cover, with him doing something especially ignorant, like taking a piss on some money, might have been really controversial.”

    LMAO^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    You know whats really fucked up? I was at the grocery store the other day and some teenager was showing his buddy the cover and he said ” See look Soulja Boy is on the cover of XXL. I told you he was tight. Soulja Boy Tell’Em”

    Thanks alot XXL for poisoning the minds of the youth even more so.

    • Lowedwn

      ^^^^^^^^^^

      DAMN, DAMN, DAMN….”I told you Soulja Boy was tight” that definitely needs to be a quote in Negro Please section of the next issue of XXL.

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

    Soulja Boy is like a turd in the toilet bowl hip hop has become. No matter how many times we flush, that little bastard just won’t go away.

    But, my sights are set on a more solid target now. That piece of shit “New Boyz” group. I’ll take a superman over a jerk any day. & to think, those jockstraps are claiming to bring Cali back….

    I miss the good old days, when a wack nigga got mushed in the face & kicked off stage, like KRS did to that fat guy from PM Dawn. Where’s Freddie Foxx when we need him?

    On the real, that cover idea about SB pissing on money would’ve been the illest shit since that Source when Dre held a gun to his head. Word.

    • http://illprintdiaries.blogspot.com Mike Game

      Those New Boyz chumps are actually performing at my cities annual “big” concert the Freaknic Jam. And I was like “who the fuck are they” then youtube them, theyre a bunch of tight pants wearing 12 year olds. I want someone to diss them to the beat and instead of “Youre a Jerk” the hook says “Youre a fag”, thatd be hilarious. But i feel like yoprince, I dont listen to the radio or watch bet or anything like that, but when Im at the club after 6 soco and limes, “Turn My Swag On” comes on, and Im jamming like every one else. I dont hate Soulja Boy, its not his fault he makes the music he makes, hes 18 and from the South, he came on the scene at 16, so basically, the music he’s influenced by is the shit you hear on the radio adnauseum. Maybe he the mofos before him made better music, he wouldnt be shitty. Its like how a Rakim birthed a Nas, or a Big Daddy Kane birthed a Jay, the music is getting shittier, and if youve heard Souljaboy talk bout his influences, you really cant be suprised he turned out the way he did.

      • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

        @ Mike Game

        I dig what you’re saying. & I won’t be surprised if he’s around for quite awhile.

        I commented on a post a couple days ago, that no matter how most folks may feel, dude has obviously outlasted the hate, the politics, & many other rap cats that came & went during his somewhat short career.

        Fuck it, Bol was probably dead on. We got tired of fighting against him, might as well get drunk & dance with the hoes.

        He’s still a turd though. I checked out your blog. You a fool, homie. I tried to comment, but No Dice. Blogger be on some BS sometimes.

      • latino heat

        i heard that Jerk shit for the 1st time the other day when my girl’s nephew’s put it on in the car. of course all 3 of them know the dance and the song. what the fuck are people teaching there kids when a 5 year old can do the Jerk and the Stanky Leg? shit is getting depressing.

  • Dallas Penn

    Summerjam is New York’s annual LCD hoedown. When there is a rapper that rhymes about ‘one-ing’ himself then 55,000 people at Giants stadium will sing-along.

    Any real NYC rap fan with any sense was still in Philadelphia getting down to the free all day DJ set that Questlove spun at Liberties Walk.

    (read: me)

  • Sirsmokeallot

    I’m from NY. Alot of NY doesn’t like him. But commercial radio only plays a certain rotation. Keep in mind Giants stadium wasn’t just filled with New Yorkers. People from the tri-state go.
    The NY underground is alive and well. Yall know how it is. Commercial radio doesn’t play Hip Hop. Hip Pop is what they play and to any 14-17 year old who isn’t shown the real music, that is what they have, and to them that all that is out. Its up to the heads to put people on.

  • fredMS

    do ppl still listen to hip hop?

  • DazzOne

    Soldier Boy and his ilk are like the Swine Flu epidemic. Clearly, as much we would want to, we can’t stop him. We can only hope his career implodes on itself.

  • dopeman922

    that new jayz song is making me listen to rap music for the first time in months

  • latino heat

    i said it yesterday on Ron Mexico’s blog, radio sucks period. even Sirius has a playlist they have to stick to and it’s not much different from what Clear Channel stations play nationwide. the only difference is they play explicit versions and don’t have commercials.

  • El Tico Loco

    Summer Jam doesn’t sound any different than the Birthday Bash down here.
    At least up there there’s options I’m stuck in this shit. RTB came here one time 2 years ago on a damn Thursday, and get surprised about the turnout (I went) but the minstrel shows are on weekends like next Saturday a Saturday you can sleep in the next day.

  • Worley

    Radio in the south is the worst. Imagine hearing one coon tune after the next all day everyday. I can’t do it man. I just can’t do it.

  • macdatruest

    The haters are the reason Soulja Boy will be a hip hop icon. Nigga came into the game at 16 and had niggas who started hiop hop mad at him. But of course the Soulja Boy hate is just T.I. propoganda anyway against the “do it yourself” generation of rappers. It’s like how Wayne’s a junkie, but Em’s a genius, without the T.I.’s approval of your buzz, let the hate begin!

    The hatin ass brainwashed niggas is mostly 30 year old niggas who dont look good on camera no more and cant figure out how to upload to Youtube. The same niggas who wasted time idolizing some rapper who fell off but is still rapping, and they can only figure that nobody is feeling niggas like LL aka Todd Smith no more because Hip Hop died?! GTFOH

    Soulja Boy is lucky, he came into the game enduring more hate than any rapper in history, and it was pure hatred too, like it was the thing to hate soulja boy because the industry is fucked up, but he found his lane out here.
    I dont think the chicken noodle soup or the harlem shake were meant to save hip hop, just like I dont think that crank dat was made to ruin every aspect of hip hop. But nobody wanna kill Puff and Ma$e for diddy bopping the east out IMMEDIATELY after Biggie died.

    What was a bigger blow to hip hop, the east coast payola DJ’s sleeping on new shit unless they got paid, Puff commercializing the biggest label on the east, a lack of “do it yourself” artist who can get music to their fans—or crank dat? GTFOH

    A sixteen year old boy? Everybody who hatin the lil nigga is sad, if my teen son made a dumb ass song and got rich witout robbing stealing or killing nobody,bought me a house and had enough money to be set for life before 18, I’ll be proud-fuck hip hop. Hip hop aint shit but complaining and criticizing those who try. And turn My Swag On always get shit crackin’ it got a feel to it which I’m pretty sure come from enduring a bunch of hatred and still doin what you do like fuck these broke niggas. You lookin way smarter than a lot of niggas right now Soulja Boy SMH@brainwashed “hip hop” fans.

    • nicholasdelore

      DAAAAAMMMMNNNN!!!! Macdatruest hit the nail with that comment. It amazes me how people hat soulja boy like he is the anti-christ but praise these old ass rappers who can’t generate hype for an albulm without the music industry’s assisstance. This one kid has released two albulms, released billboard charted songs, was grammie nomminated, and is generating more money than any of these old as rappers. What’s also crazy is how yall bash moderately decent songs like “turn my swag on” but praise the wackest of the ass songs like “we made you” and “DOA” like they are the most outstanding masterpieces that God made. Soulja boy may not be the most skilled rapper of this generation, but at the very least he can release enjoyable music without having someone’s ass on their face or releasing a garbage song that tries to kill autotone (as if that’s going to generate good music). The thing is that I would rather listen to what you mofos hate, “hip-pop” than to listen to some tired ass rapper who can’t seem to make a song without waiting for some fucking buzz about how their material is the best.

      Not everybody wanna listen to only these industry hyped “greatest rappers alive”. At least soulja boy is producing music to fulfill the purpose of entertaining people. Not letting the industry dictate what, when, where and how his music is being released.

      And that is how SB will probably be one of the most wealthiest rappers in history. Simply because he is a go getter and not some dude hoping people interested will like his music. Yall get mad at SB for defending his music with the amount of money he makes but how can’t he when so many of you assholes like to throw salt at his name when he is doing something succeful without the need of an AR. I don’t see Eminem and Jay being this successful without somebody digging in their pockets. And these so called greats can actually afford it. But whatever, I guess since my comment is long I’ll simply say Soulja boy gets my full respect. nore so than any other rapper today.

  • chillin mayne

    wow…very well put mac!..i dont mind soulja boy deres a time and a place for errthing, wat i cant stand is wen dudes play his tracks over and over…and over…and over…and i like to listen to music with lyrics to it, but dat aint no reason for hate…diffrent people got different tastes

  • ty from linden blvd

    The fact that a Soulja Boy song would blow up in New York, and that his performance at Summer Jam would go over well is hardly surprising to me, in that of course a bad song is gonna have a lot of success on the radio, let alone in New York, which has the worse radio evar. More so than anywhere else I’ve ever been, New York plays the same three songs over and over again. And in many cases, it’s either reggae, or some sort of bullshit rap no one likes anywhere other than New York. For example, I don’t think that people get that you basically never hear Jay-Z on the radio here in the Midwest. People just plain don’t give a shit about him. And that’s Jay-Z – not, like Dipset or some shit.

    bol your crazy…….

    i used to say the same shit back in the 90′s….then i moved to Florida.

    niggas were fiending for hot 97,so much so that it was getting streamed illegally.to the point were once again hot 97 made a legal stream.as much as hot 97 might suck it still shits on 95% of radio stations today.

    as far as the rest of ya comments’…i mos def agree.i got to th epoint where i had to stop being mad at the way hip hop has been portrayed in the last 10 plus years.i was one of dem niggas who was mad cause i felt biggie was commercial.so imagine how a nigga felt when things truly went down hill.

    • DetroitDraper

      Its good to hear that Im not the only one who felt that way. I definitely agree Biggie was commercial.

  • Ali

    i didnt read the whole post, seemed like a waste of time, but i did read the part of NY havin the worst radio ever……….wrong lol…..im from the Bay, u shoulda heard the radio when that hyphy/snap bullshit was poppin, god damn i heard snap ya fingers so many fuckin times WB shoulda cut me a check

  • KGSmooth

    I’m from the Midwest and we like Jay-Z and they play him on the radio. We get it all in the midwest, musically. East, West and South. So the that said, and I quote – “For example, I don’t think that people get that you basically never hear Jay-Z on the radio here in the Midwest. People just plain don’t give a shit about him. And that’s Jay-Z – not, like Dipset or some shit.” – simply not true, my brotha.

  • latino heat

    @ Ali
    co-sign that. i’m from the Bay too and the shit on the radio is ridiculous. the only time i hear that shit is if i’m in the car with a female though. for some reason females only listen to the radio and don’t mind if they hear the same 5 songs all day.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelbjordan Michael J. Focks

    Garland is officially famous.

  • Parsifal

    Bol is The 4chan of the Hip Hop blogging community

  • jonjon23

    Macdatruest: I agree with you on these DJs and radio stations getting payed to spin certain artists every hour on the hour. That’s the reason an old washed up rapper like Jay Z can get spins now with the garbage he has put out the last few years. Rap is a young man’s game and it is ever-evolving. Are Soulja Boy’s raps educational? No rap to me is–even when they try to be. That’s what’s wrong with us–getting ‘knowledge’ from rap songs. Take your ass to school and actually learn something in the process; then for entertainment listen to “Swag On”.