This was my first essay of the year and my first Longread! I was inspired by how passionate everyone around me was about this interview. I had to watch it. I’ve cleaned the post up and I hope it is more enduring. If you have never met him, then meet Soulja Boy, self-professed rap legend:

Soulja Boy and Donald Trump were the little kid that was always watching everything around him and running and telling people that had nothing to do with it.

Nobody:

Baby Soulja Boy Trump: “My daddy in jail but don’t worry cause I put him there. I’m runnin’ this. Swag.” — *Exits left with a gaggle of adult eyes following him with juice box in hand*

The Soulja Boy Trumped ‘em on his hour long interview with Breakfast Club veterans Charlamagne the God and Angela Yee. I think we were all laughing and giving him some long overdue credit for his many accomplishments in the music industry. I know that I was reminded that he is an entertainer if nothing else. (I was also reminded that Charlemagne the God and Angela Yee are cultural icons and treasures for their ability to interview anyone in black culture and make them feel comfortable, while asking some tough ass questions.)

Soulja Boy has to be descendant of some long, great griot family on the Motherland because this guy can tell a story! I give him props on his production efforts and his many beats and put-ons but more than anything this interview highlighted his ability to tell a story, with himself as the ultimate rapper-hero-innovator-leader of course. (He has dressed for his role too, in his best rapper-hero gear).

The entire interaction reminded me how many values in Black America are aligned with President Trump, and the Mainstream. Mama, we made it. Integration has brought us… equality? equity? Hell as long as there is an ‘e’ and it comes with being; who cares, right? Cheers to the melting pot. Murica. And what is the most American thing ever? Selling shit. (Particularly shit we don’t need but that’s for another day.)

The entire interaction reminded me how many values in Black America are aligned with President Trump, and the Mainstream. Mama, we made it. Integration has brought us… equality? equity? Hell as long as there is an ‘e’ and it comes with being; who cares, right? Cheers to the melting pot. Murica. And what is the most American thing ever? Selling shit. (Particularly shit we don’t need but that’s for another day.)

Soulja Boy reminds me so much of the parents, girls, and women searching for fortune and fame in VH1’s recent sensationalism of R. Kelly (also reaching a massive audience and re-surging the Mute R.Kelly campaign). Hours of watching black families become victim to what appears to be a serial predator with one major bait-line: fame with a chance in the entertainment industry (some of the girls may have fallen in love to. Eh. Its debatable). What happens when an entire generation is sold on the virtues of “the grind”?

Soulja Boy embodies the grind, using what you have to get what you want, or what you may feel that you need (or at times worse deserve). Black culture IS a grind. And America loves to watch that process and celebrate it without acknowledging the bullshit it causes. Lol. But Soulja Boy tell ‘em: This right here is our swag.

In Soulja Boy’s interview, the revolution is centered on correcting people not understanding him and his contributions. He talks about women with the respect of prized possessions. Angela Yee is barely qualified to sit-in and question his contributions to hip-hop society or even common sense questions about his love life. Taking care of his extended blood family appears to be is his number one priority (I felt like he talked about his grandparents a couple of times), and it is clear that if anyone in his portion of the industry has ‘made it’ then they ‘owe’ him a thanks. Everybody not thanking him is jealous, let Soulja Boy tell it anyway. And he has a comment for all of them.

If I re-wrote that sentence and replaced the words Soulja Boy with Donald Trump, then the paragraph reads true. Despite repeated attempts to talk about anyone or anything else, Soulja Boy is a walking self-plug. I sincerely did not realize he was talented because he drowns the talent out with ridiculous efforts to get my attention with anything I am willing to buy.

Are you an artist or are you cut from the same cloth as the ‘cracker’ businessmen you profess to hate, Mr. Soulja? (I mean, who is he to judge Kanye’s plight anyway? Kanye is making the money he dreams about, right?) We, as Black Americans, are living in some dangerous dichotomies and hypocrisies. Mama, we made it. We really American now.

In true form, and like most knee-grows, I recognize most of Soulja Boy hits and have spent many a night in numerous clubs with his voice narrating my jive! ATL hoe! And I plan on continuing to enjoy him and the antics of those like him who set out to entertain me with bullshit.

Soulja Boy has genius qualities and he has created a path to success for many thirsting for it. Whether it is a healthy path or what the implications for the industry are remain to be seen long term but widening opportunities in any field is usually perceived as beneficial. (Would we have Issa Rae without Flava Flav? Uhhmmm, probably? I don’t know.)

I also disagree with anyone saying that Soulja Boy ruined Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop is vibrant, diverse, and alive. Who says so? Big K.R.I.T., 6LACK, J.Cole, Young MA, Kendrick Lamar, even Meek dropped a decent album, among so many other newcomers and veterans that I did not name. I don’t know what to make of Soulja Boy interview 10o percent other than the humor and the facts. Lord knows, I don’t know what to make of the president either, other than to hate his policy decisions and the way he butchers diplomatic, American English.

But America, it’s diverse. It’s growing, it’s adapting, hell it may even be getting better. It’s alive. Ain’t nobody ruined America. It is the same country that Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and all those uptight, Victorian-inspired old white dudes helped write into white existence (lmao). And Donald Trump, R. Kelly, and Soulja Boy are as American as they come. Outrage about it is nice. Changing it would be better. Being honest about it though, that part is necessary. (Sidenote: Yall think Donny would do any interview with the God and Yee post-presidency?)

(Real quick: Do we seek the fame because it will bring the fortune? What are we grinding for exactly? Who is Soulja Boy in a society not dominated by the pursuit of money? What stories would he be telling then?)

Credits:

All GIFs courtesy of giphy.com

Shoutout to The Breakfast Club Power 105 for the dope interview.

4 thoughts on “Soulja Boy Trumped ‘Em

  1. Great piece my guy! When you said it was long I was expected a good 20 minute read 😂 but I guess that’s just my long winded ass.

    This quote hit my soul tho bruh, “What happens when an entire generation is sold on the virtues of “the grind?” Aw man that fucked me up because us as a people I’ve seen our heros turn into sambos all for the so-called “grind.” Kayne will never drop another “Late Registration,” or Steve Harvey can never clam to be one of the Kings of comedy. Why, cause the “grind” was more important than the culture SMH. Great piece bruh 👏🏾👏🏾

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