By Joe Walker
The New Citizens Press
17-year-old DeAndre Way – AKA Soulja Boy Tell’em – utilized internet marketing to make his production and raps a must-have by music consumers. With tens-of-millions of people visiting his website and Myspace page, his single “Crack That” became a #1 hit, and one of the most popular singles of 2007. Signed to Collipark Music/Interscope Records, Soulja Boy Tell’em’s career, like his website, could remain popular for years to come.
TNCP – You’re 17, one the nations biggest rap stars, and you have lots of youngsters looking up to you. Who is the rap star you admire most?
Soulja Boy – 50 Cent.
TNCP – With you both being part of the Interscope family, how do you feel about being his label mate?
Soulja Boy – He’s the person that I look up to, so being label mates feels good. That’s a good look for me.
TNCP – How deep does your admiration for 50 Cent go?
Soulja Boy – He’s the person who influenced me to do what I do: Get up everyday and make music, do shows, do interviews, go state-to-state. I wanted to do everything he did. And I’m doing it.
TNCP – How do you feel about the direction he went with his new album?
Soulja Boy – 50 Cent is a big risk taker. Just listen to some of his latest records he’s got out now. And he does what he has to do to put himself out there. He’s a soldier in this game.
TNCP – Why do you call yourself Soulja Boy?
Soulja Boy – My Momma gave me the name Soulja Boy. I don’t even know why either. I’ma have to ask her. But people like it!
TNCP – A lot of kids like your music. Do you think that will make older listeners afraid to take a chance on your album?
Soulja Boy – Millions already know about me and what I can provide for them. They ain’t gonna be scared to take a chance on my album because they already know what I’m about.
TNCP – Even with hip-hop’s worldwide success, there are people out there who are still afraid of it. They are afraid to book shows or get close to the artists. Why do you think this is?
Soulja Boy – Some of the content in our music and what we talk about, how we look and how we present ourselves in our videos have people afraid of us. But we’re not all bad. People be afraid to book rap shows because they think it’ll bring violence. A lot of times it don’t be no violence. But sometimes it’s just so crunk they don’t want to take a risk at their venue. That has happened with me already.
TNCP – When was the most recent occurrence?
Soulja Boy – I just did a show in Flint. It happened there. It was a lot of girls trying to rush the stage, and they shut it down. It wasn’t off no violence, it was just so many girls trying to get at me. It was a good look, but it was bad because the security guards was getting overwhelmed by the girls.