The DeAndre Way… Soulja Boy album review

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As they say, hate is a very strong word. Ideally it should be used for something that brings up feelings of deep resentment, an anger intense enough to get under your skin and set it aflame. A search for the phrase “I hate Soulja Boy” yields over 1,700,000 results on Google. Not exactly a startling figure, as the 20-year old Atlanta based rapper has been the target of venomous critiques from his peers in the industry and frequent message board dwellers of Hip-Hop sites. The rapper came on the scene in 2007 when his YouTube-powered single “Crank Dat” became an international phenomenon and has drawn the ire of many ever since.

So why all the hate? Soulja Boy primarily catches heat for his wholly simplistic lyrical content and delivery. And while he might spend more time putting ink on his body than on the pages of a rhyme book, his third major label release, The DeAndre Way is a testament to what it means to be a Hip-Hop artist in the social networking generation.

The record has stellar production quality from producers such as Canadian upstart Boi-1da and ultra popular Polow da Don, so Soulja’s lyrics oftentimes take a much needed backseat to the beats. The Boi-1da-helmed single “Speakers Going Hammer” is a drum and siren filled romp that has Soulja truly having fun with his excess bravado. The bursts of synth and goofy vocals of the chorus draws parallels to “Word of Mouf”era Ludacris.

“Pretty Boy Swag”, a single released in July, is Soulja’s self affirmation that he is young, rich, and deserving of the admiration and respect of all. “Girls on me heavy cause I look so sexy”  He says with absolute conviction in a stop-and-go flow.

The list of guest appearances on DeAndre Way isn’t as lofty as Soulja intended before recording, but a few heavy hitters do show up.  Current R & B king Trey Songz appears on high school hallway romance fare of “Hey Cutie”, and Bay Area up-and comer Lil B lays down a verse “30 Thousand 100 Million”. Perhaps the most interesting moment on the record is “Mean Mug” featuring 50 Cent. A “passing of the torch” between two rappers who have their share of critics, 50 and Soulja trade lines over menacing hi-hat drums.

The highlight of DeAndre Way is the retrospective “Fly”. With impeccable production from Long Beach native RICO Beats, Soulja takes the role of a MC who is coming into his own. Unfortunately the positives end there, with songs such as “Steez and “Boom” just serving as uninspired filler. Soulja’s favorite subject is himself, but even he seems tired conveying how great he is. Portrayed as his segue into artistic maturity, DeAndre Way is filled with brag heavy hooks and juvenile sexual situations.  Though he named the record after himself, we never see a glimpse of who Soulja is as a human being beyond material acquisitions“I understand the fans, supply and demand” He says on “Grammy”. The fans might want to give deep thought into what they’re buying into.

The DeAndre Way receives a PA

Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ…Classic
Also Check Out:

Rating: 
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ…Classic
Also Check Out:

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