He was born DeAndre Ramone Way in Chicago, Illinois on July 28, 1990 and moved to Atlanta, Georgia at age seven where he became interested in rap music.At age 14, he moved to Batesville, Mississippi with his father, who provided a recording studio for Way to explore his musical ambitions.
In November 2005, Way posted his songs on the website SoundClick. Following positive reviews on the site, Soulja Boy then established his own web pages on YouTube and MySpace. In March 2007, he recorded "Crank That" and released his first independent album Unsigned & Still Major: Da Album Before da Album, followed by a low-budget video filmed demonstrating the "Soulja Boy" dance. By the end of May 2007, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" received its first airplay and Soulja Boy met with Mr. Collipark to sign a deal with Interscope Records.
On August 12, 2007, the song appeared on the Emmy-award winning HBO series Entourage, and by September 1, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot RingMasters charts. Way`s major label debut album Souljaboytellem.com, which was reportedly recorded using just the demo version of FL Studio,was released in the United States on October 2, peaking at #4 on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.
On December 9, 2007, Way was sued by William Lyons (aka Souljah Boy of the Mo Thugs) who claims he first created the stage name "Souljah Boy". Lyons also recorded a diss song using the "Crank That" beat towards Soulja Boy called "Spank That Soulja Boy". The song can be heard on YouTube.
For the 50th Grammy Awards, Soulja Boy was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song with "Crank That (Soulja Boy)". He lost to Kanye West`s and T-Pain`s "Good Life".
Souljaboytellem.com received a favorable review from Allmusic but a negative one from Entertainment Weekly;. Several reviewers credited Soulja Boy with spearheading a new trend in hip-hop, while speculating he will likely be a one hit wonder.
Feud with Ice-T:
In June 2008, on DJ Cisco’s Urban Legend mixtape, Ice-T criticized Soulja Boy for "killing hip-hop" and his song "Crank That" for being "garbage" compared to the works of other hip-hop artists as Rakim, Das EFX, Big Daddy Kane and Ice Cube. Soulja Boy responded in a YouTube video by mocking Ice-T`s age saying "we Wikipedia-ed this n*gga, this n*gga was born in 1958...you was born before the internet was created; how the f**k you even find me?" Soulja Boy, who seemed to be reading the Wikipedia article about Ice-T as he spoke, frequently punctuated his comments with laughter. Ice-T proceeded to offer a video response to Soulja Boy`s reaction in which he made an apology for the harsh comment, but many felt it was a backhanded apology, because at the end of the video Ice-T`s son appeared reiterating the same negative comment to Souljaboy as Ice-T had stated in the mixtape. However Ice-T did not apologize for his critique on Soulja Boy`s music even as to go so far as reiterating his belief that Soulja Boy`s music was "garbage". Rapper Kanye West defended Soulja Boy by arguing that Soulja Boy created a new, original work for hip-hop, thus keeping the authentic meaning of the music. Soulja Boy followed suit by posting another video on the internet in the form of a cartoon mocking Ice-T and ridiculing a video clip of Ice-T dancing
The follow-up to souljaboytellem.com, iSouljaBoyTellEm, was released on December 16, 2008 The first single from the album, "Bird Walk", peaked at number 40 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the top 20 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart
Full Name at Birth
DeAndre Cortez Way
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em
Date of Birth
Rapper, record producer, entrepreneur
Claim to Fame
Cash Money Records, SODMG, Universal (current)
Collipark, Interscope (former)
Stacks On Deck (SODMG)
Money Power Respect