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Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 11/30/2010

Album review: Soulja Boy, "The DeAndre Way"

By Sean Fennessey

soulja boySoulja Boy's at his best when he keeps it simple. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

The hip-hop boy king Soulja Boy is no longer a boy. Soulja, a.k.a. DeAndre Way, is 20 years old. And he's no longer a pop insurgent, either. Where once he wormed his way onto the airwaves with appealingly homespun productions and atavistic rapping, now he's a part of the system. His third album, "The DeAndre Way," occasionally slips into machine-like fits. The exuberant but rote "Mean Mug," a goofy bruiser with 50 Cent, bobs and weaves, rarely punching. Likewise, "Blowing Me Kisses" is perhaps the glossiest, most glib entry in his regrettable loverman oeuvre.


It's Soulja's instinct for simplicity that distinguishes him: "First Day of School" is an uncomplicated paean to the most intimidating day of the year for most kids. To Soulja, it's an opportunity to preen while keeping him firmly entrenched in the youth market. "30 Thousand 100 Million," a collaboration with manic oddball stylist Lil B, is the inversion of "First Day of School," but like all of Soulja Boy's best songs, it is effortlessly off kilter. "Pretty Boy Swag," among the most confident and spacious singles in recent memory, is little more than three keyboard notes that recall the warning beeps of a forklift moving in reverse, an echoing drum effect and Soulja's inventive rhyme style: He raps, "You party with a star we take off and go to Mars/Pretty boy take off in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1." Liftoff.

Recommended Tracks: "First Day of School," "Pretty Boy Swag," "30 Thousand 100 Million"

By Sean Fennessey  | November 30, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags:  Soulja Boy  
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Next: Album review: Calle 13, "Entren Los Que Quieran"

Comments

Paid In Full
By Any Means Necessary
It Takes A Nation Of Millions...
Illmatic
Ready To Die
Reasonable Doubt
Atliens

- add The DeAndre Way to the list.

Posted by: audiohysteria | November 30, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Audiohysteria:

You are either a Grade A+ troll or you consume far, far, FAR too much crack cocaine.

Posted by: BrockLesnar53 | November 30, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad I'm not a teenager anymore and don't have to listen to this insufferable garbage.

Posted by: PepperDr | November 30, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Sarcasm...well played AH

At some point, the people have decided that this is what they want. They want Minaj over Jean Grae, they want Ross over Kweli, fake bloods (Wayne, Jimmy, etc.), this 'sissyboy/skinny jean sag swag' and so on.

Every era has its errors...

Posted by: kahlua87 | November 30, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Sarcasm...well played AH

At some point, the people have decided that this is what they want. They want Minaj over Jean Grae, they want Ross over Kweli, fake bloods (Wayne, Jimmy, etc.), this 'sissyboy/skinny jean sag swag' and so on.

Every era has its errors...

Posted by: kahlua87 | November 30, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse


Kahlua,

You're wrong. This is not what the people have decided. This is what the record companies pay the corporate radio stations to play. The more money the label pays the station the more the station plays this awful garbage.

THIS IS NOT WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT.

This is what the people think they like cause this is what they're forced to hear if they want to listen to the radio.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | November 30, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

i used to believe that people were being forced to listen to 'garbage'...

not anymore

folks have too many options nowadays to play it off as a nefarious mind control scheme- its not for me, but somebody is happy to have Li'l B as their youth soundtrack. ('swag/WOOO')

i know there must've been similar headshaking when AC/DC 'big balls' used to get radio play; Billy Squire 'the stroke'? fuggetaboudit...

people will always gather around a catchy presentation of the lowest demoninator- this bama Soulja Boy is exhibit numero uno... dude performs that crap LIVE at awards shows and people APPLAUD- who made 'em do that?!

ps. Kokayi 'Robots & Dinosaurs', i'm waiting on THAT review...

Posted by: audiohysteria | December 1, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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