When Soulja Boy takes the stage at the Streamy Awards, he will be giving back. The 22 year old rapper has had a successful career by conventional measures, with all three of his albums reaching the top ten of the US Rap Charts. Without YouTube, he would never have reached such heights.
In 2007, DeAndre Way was just a 17 year old teen with a dream. When he created a soon-to-be-legendary dance for his “Crank Dat” song, posting a (since removed) video to YouTube in which he performs the dance, he could not have expected hundreds of millions of views to follow. As we all know, that’s exactly what happened. Before “Gangnam Style” and “Harlem Shake“, “Crank Dat” was the lifeblood of the dance crazy part of the Internet. “Supermanning” joined the American lexicon, half-serious fans cranked their way across dance floors all over the country, and Way, now known as Soulja Boy, became the latest anonymous youngster to find riches on YouTube.
Soulja Boy’s post-Crank Dat career has had its ups and downs, as with any musician. On his two more recent albums, he’s been lucky enough to have a few more hits, most notably “Turn My Swag On” and “Kiss Me Thru the Phone“. Each features one his signature catchy hooks, and he is sure to break out his hits at the Streamys, where the mood will be light enough for him to have some fun.
Soulja Boy, like PSY and Baauer and every other dance musician to ever make it big on YouTube, may find he is one day remembered for his most popular online hit. No matter where he goes, the Internet will remember that time in 2007 when “Crank Dat”‘s catchy steel drum hook was inescapable and the urge to Superman was unavoidable.
Even beyond all that, his music gave us the Kosher Boy parody, and for that, we wish Soulja Boy a hearty l’chaim on his upcoming performance.
To see Soulja Boy turn his swag on as well as several other performances, tune in the the Streamys on Sunday, February 17th at 3 PT/6 PM ET!