Before we start Soulja Boy’s The DeAndre Way album review, let’s talk about the word “hate.” As they say, hate is a very strong word. Ideally, it should be used for something that brings up feelings of deep resentment; 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. Our The DeAndrew Way album review will show you how.
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 draw 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 Soulja Boy’s 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 an 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 of conveying how great he is. Portrayed as his segue into artistic maturity, Soulja Boy’s 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 before buying Soulja Boy’s new album.
The DeAndre Way album review
This album receives a PA
PARL… Kinda Great
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