The “Soulja Boy” Edition

Last week, Soulja Boy broke the record of digital singles sold selling over 3 million legal downloads since Crank Dat was released May 2. Whether it was the infectious dance, or the mindless repetition of the song itself, this song’s obviously made an impression. It was cute the first couple of times. It really was. And that its adorability was only amplified by the dance’s instructional video that made its way onto youtube. But there was a point in the pop-culture storm that is Soulja Boy where I realized I would fear for his safety if we were caught in the same room.There are some people that go to school for musical pursuits, and there are others who are self-taught. And there are still others that are neither, relying on luck, shock value, and catchy sound effects. The latter perfectly describes Soulja Boy audio endeavor, Crank Dat. He’s a flavor the week. It’s a novelty hit that will define his life and give him pole position for a one-hit wonder show on VH1 in ten years.We’re a society of temporaryism. We cling to the moment, and whoever is making a splash during that moment. And the only thing we love more than watching someone succeeding is watching someone fail. Soulja Boy is today’s Vanilla Ice, Baha Men, and Sir Mix-A-Lot. Crank Dat is today’s Mararena, which actually went on to sell four million copies before the artists were never heard from again. When comparing commercial success to quality, the relationship is a lot like defining squares and rectangles; a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t necessarily a square. Just because you’re moving units doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making something moving. My basic criteria for things I allow the public to associate with me is whether my mother would approve of it. And I’m not sure if any mother would be proud of her son’s monetary gain based on the objectification of females. Maybe because we subconsciously like nothing more than to indulge in guilty pleasures or maybe because there wasn’t anything else to download but for some reason, we’ve given Soulja Boy a lot of money and encouragement to make the Crank Dat follow-up, which we can only expect to be as irreverent and disrespectful as it’s predecessor. So I would just like to say thank you to those three million brave downloaders who ignored the subtle, but profane, degrading of women in the song, and stood up for Soulja Boy’s freedom of speech. Although we probably won’t be performing any superhero moves on the ladies, you’ve definitely encouraged him, and others, to continue to rap about it over underdeveloped, lo-fi beats.

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