Soulja Boy

Soulja Boy, real name DeAndre Cortez Way, was born in Chicago in 1990, but grew up in Atlanta, where he gravitated toward rap. At 14, he was forced to move to Mississippi with his father who provided him with a recording studio so he could continue to explore his musical ambitions. In 2007, he self-released a project called Unsigned & Still Major: Da Album Before da Album under his Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em moniker. By March 2007, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" had put him on the map and soon, he had a deal with Interscope Records. In August of that year, "Crank That" was used in an episode of Entourage and it topped the Billboard Hot 100 just weeks later. During the 2008 Grammy Awards, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" was nominated for Best Rap Song but lost to Kanye West's and T-Pain's "Good Life.” Soulja Boy’s major label debut,, was released in 2007 and peaked at No. 4 on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.

Soulja Boy has released nine subsequent albums since then, including 2015’s Loyalty, his first with Universal Music Group. While he never quite found the success he had with his first album, he’s continued to pursue other ventures like acting and various business endeavors. The rapper is also among the first artists to use social media for marketing purposes. Since 2006, his YouTube channel has racked up nearly 2 billion views and more than 3.3 million subscribers. In 2022, he starred in his own Revolt show, The Life of Draco.

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