The rapper Soulja Boy said ”hurt my soul”
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The rapper Soulja Boy said ”hurt my soul”

Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy is a polarising figure within hip-hop, and his emergence in the mid-2000s marked a shift in the mentality of hip-hop and who it was being marketed to. 

With the emergence of websites such as LimeWire and MySpace in conjunction with the rise of the iPod, music was becoming more easily accessible, especially to kids, and as this phenomenon occurred, a new style of hip-hop arose that saw songs such as Soulja Boy’s ‘Crank Dat’ and Young B’s ‘Chicken Noodle Soup’ receive consistent radio play.

These two songs, including others such as Lil Mama’s ‘Lip Gloss’, were accompanied by dances that enticed children to listen to them and join in. However, many established, older MCs saw this as a direct assault on what hip-hop stood for. Unfortunately, for these artists, this hip-hop style would prosper, and with apps such as Vine and TikTok still thrives to this day, but Soulja Boy is seen as the face of what many would name “gimmick rap.”

Earlier this year, during an appearance on Lil Yachty’s A Safe Place podcast, Fayetteville lyricist J Cole unveiled what he thought about Soulja Boy’s music when he initially heard his hit ‘Crank Dat’ in 2007. Talking with the hosts, Cole admitted he wasn’t impressed by the Atlanta rapper and thought his music was below average.

Cole told Yachty, “Around the time Soulja Boy came out, I don’t know how this happened, but I had a realization within myself ’cause I’m hearing that sh*t and I’m like, ‘Man, this sh*t, Soulja Boy tell em,” he began. “Sounds crazy to say now ’cause it’s such a classic to me, but at that time, I had resistance. Similar to when you came out and your class came out, I had resistance.”

Cole’s comments prompted the Atlanta musician (real name DeAndre Way) to recall when West Coast icon Snoop Dogg similarly dissed his track. Taking to Instagram, Way recounted, “When I first came out, [Snoop] was like, ‘Crank That’? What is this [bullsh*t]?'”

He continued, “It hurt my soul. I wanted to cry. I was 17 at the time. This is my idol telling me telling me that I suck! I’m like, ‘What the [f*ck]?’ Then I met Snoop Dogg in person, and he was like, ‘Man, my bad… I didn’t understand the song when it first came out. Now I jam to that sh*t.'”

According to Way, he always loved Snoop, explaining, “That’s my f*cking idol! Who don’t love Snoop Dogg?!” The pair are now civil, and it’s evident the Long Beach legend has no bad blood with Way. However, Soulja Boy’s disruption of hip-hop and subversion of its edgy perception has tainted his brand to this day.

You can hear the ‘Kiss Me Thru The Phone’ act speaking about his interaction with Snoop Dogg below.