SECRET CONFESSION: i kind of like soulja boy. . .

I grew up in the 1980’s, which was, in my humble opinion, The Golden Age of Hip-Hop. Rap music was alive back then. Whodini, The Fatboys, Salt-N-Pepa, Kurtis Blow, UTFO, The Beastie Boys, Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, Kool Moe Dee, U.T.F.O., and so many other acts, were making classics. All lead by the true Kings:

Most of the kids in my Junior High School wanted to be like those guys. And a lot of us tried to rap, and would freestyle and battle during recess and lunch. It was fun. And I’ll never forget the impact that the movie “Krush Groove” had on all of us, especially when Ladies Love Cool James appeared onscreen.

When LL appeared on the scene, it was like a tornado in a glass house. He was the man. I think part of the reason why he had such a huge impact on all of us was because of his age. Run-DMC, Whodini, and the others were great, but they were all adults. LL was a few years older, but still a teenager. So he was one of us. We could identify with him, even if weren’t from New York like he was.

Anyway, I stuck with rap through the years, even as things changed, and the pro-Black socially conscious rhymes of Public Enemy and X-Clan were replaced by the celebration of guns & drugs by Easy E & N.W.A. As the rap rivarlies between LL & Kool Moe Dee, to see whom was a better rapper, got replaced by bitter blood-feuds between the whole East & West Coasts, ending in the still-unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur & Notorious B.I.G. But, eventually, I lost interest.

I don’t listen to much rap music these days. I still hear a good song here and there, but otherwise I fear I’ve turned into one of those old folks that I used to dismiss when I was a kid, complaining about how everything was better back in “my day.”

One rapper who’s gained a lot of notoriety, good & bad, in the past year, has been southern rapper SOULJA BOY

I won’t get into much detail about him, and what the controversy is, because I can only assume that if you (yes YOU) are bothering to read this, after seeing the title of this blog, then you already know about him, and probably have your own opinion. And I’ll admit to having previously been on the Hater side. Well, actually, I never paid all that much attention to him. I never cared for Southern rappers in general. I can’t stand Lil Wayne or Lil Jon, or any of those acts. And when I first heard about Soulja Boy’s song with the phrase “Superman dat Ho” I just wrote him off.

Then there was his little FEUD WITH ICE T that got people talking last year.

Now, Ice T is also one of my all-time favorites. I remember him in “Breakin,” and his theme to “Colors.” And I love the way he’s transitioned into a successful actor. But I don’t agree with him on this.

I happened to catch a Soulja Boy track a week or so ago, “Kiss Me Through The Phone,” and I thought to myself: This isn’t half-bad. Nope, nothing deep or innovative, but it’s a catchy little song. Us old folks like to think that everything was so deep in our day, but we had our Kid N Play‘s, Kriss Kross’, Young M.C.’s, back then too. Heck, it’s not like any of The Fat Boys were lyrical geniuses, let’s be real.

So I looked Soulja Boy up online and read about him. The kid just turned 18 six months ago. He produced his own music, put it out online, got some interest, and got signed to a record deal. Good for him! Now he’s trying to branch out with animated cartoons, and merchandise. And you know what? I want a pair of his sneakers!

I’d love to wear those, but they don’t seem to come in my size. 15 (I got big ol’ feet). What really sucks is that he has shoes in a bunch of other colors, white, green, red, blue, even PINK, and they all go up to 15, but for some reason the black sneakers only go up to 14! And that’s the only color I want. So I guess I’ll have to keep checking back until it changes.

But my point is, he’s a young kid, living his dream, doing his thing. So I’m not hatin’. Heck, I’m jealous of him. I wish that were me. I’ve looked up some of his other songs, and most of them still don’t appeal to me. So I can’t call myself a “fan” of his music, but I’m not going to criticize him. I hope he continues to be successful, and finds some way to keep it going, keeps his head on straight, and doesn’t crash and burn. It’s certainly not easy these days for anybody, but especially rappers, to maintain success & longevity in the music business, so he’s got his work cut out for him. Good luck Soulja Boy. Tell ’em!

  18 comments for “SECRET CONFESSION: i kind of like soulja boy. . .

  1. January 10, 2009 at 4:50 PM

    Wait…what?!? Really?!?

    Like

  2. January 10, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    Yes. REALLY.

    Don’t be hatin.

    Like

  3. January 10, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    Not hatin. I just really never expected to see YOU support this kind of music.

    Like

  4. January 10, 2009 at 5:02 PM

    Well, again, I’m not really supporting the music, per se, even though I like that one song, what I’m supporting is his right to make that kind of music, and for his fans to enjoy it.

    Like

  5. January 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Not really into the music, but I think he’s kinda cute. I thought he was funny when he was on Ellen’s show.

    Like

  6. January 10, 2009 at 5:36 PM

    The young girls do seem to like him. So that’s another good thing he’s got going. And @ least he’s not trying to make gangsta rap about guns or drugs. Just trying to have fun.

    Like

  7. January 10, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    I feel really old now. I don’t even know who the hell that is!

    Like

  8. January 10, 2009 at 7:46 PM

    You wear size 15 sneakers?!? DAMN!

    So…is it true what they say about men with big feet?!? ^_^

    Like

  9. January 10, 2009 at 8:57 PM

    No.

    Like

  10. January 10, 2009 at 9:02 PM

    LOL!

    Like

  11. Eugene McAlpine
    January 10, 2009 at 10:23 PM

    Now I’m going to have that song stuck in my head all weekend. Dammit.

    Like

  12. January 10, 2009 at 11:59 PM

    I COMPLETELY AND 100% agree with you. He is not an abomination of hip-hop at all. look at Rappers Delight by SG and tell me what that song was about? Money, cars, women and flossin. those lyrics are classic but talk about absolutely nothing. some of my favorite songs are about ABSOLUTELY nothing and are just fun to listen to.

    A lot of people hate on this lil dude and they need to shut up and realize that you are getting old. I did not like Superman, but it’s only because that song was played 10 trillion times back to back. it is what anyone could want from a pop song. catchy and a nice dance to go with it.

    He is not destroying hip-hop, it’s not his fault that his music sells to teens. teens usually have bad taste in everything( i know i sure as hell did) but that is because i am getting older. the fat boys, dana dane, dougie fresh, skee-lo, the rapping duke, kurtis blow all didn’t rap about anything, but they made hot singles for the club(because most radio stations didn’t play this stuff at the time) and it was all about fun. nothing really socially conscious came out till “the Message” by grandmaster flash. everything before that was dance singles like Soulja Boy.

    so in other words, don’t hate on an 18 year old for making money, at least he doesn’t fake being a gangsta like Lil Wayne, Rick Ross or any of the other bullshit down south rappers. Lil Man get your MC Hammer on and make money. just don’t fully live out like MC Hammer where you try to go gangsta, go bankrupt, become a pastor and then try to rap again. be you lil homie and cater to your audience. thats why LL has lasted 24 years in the game, because he makes records for the laddies and makes dance singles.

    Like

  13. January 11, 2009 at 12:27 AM

    Yes! See, you get what I’m sayin’, Mike. And you’re right, Sugarhill Gang would be considered garbage today. I used to have some early Grandmaster Flash 12″‘s, they were all party anthems, with disco beats. The Fat Boys were one big gimmick that would be lucky to be even one-hit wonders today. That’s why I said that sometimes us older folks tend to overly romantacize our childhoods.

    And that goes for all music, not just rap. People want to look @ stuff out now and say it’s crap. But just as kids today are listening to Miley Cyrus or whomever, I was listening to New Edition, singing “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man”, in grade school. So I’m no better. And this has always gone on. When Elvis came out, & teens were loving him, parents who grew up on Frank Sinatra couldn’t relate to him.

    Someone else on another site made a comment about this, saying that the problem is that too many rap fans expect that all rappers should appeal to them. But rap has been around for a long time now, so just like every other form of music, there are different generations listening to this stuff, and they have to accept that they may not be the target demographic for each artist anymore. Jay Z, for example, is pushing 40. He’s old enough to be Soulja Boy’s father. Why should we expect them to have the same fanbase? Even rappers like 50 Cent & Eminem are over 30. They speak to a different generation.

    Looking @ me, I was 13 when I discovered LL Cool J (who’s also pushing 40). But times are different now. A 13 year old today isn’t going to be like I was back then, or like the same things. I shouldn’t expect a 13 year old to like the same things I like now, and if I like the same things as a 13 year old then there’s probably something wrong with me anyway.

    Like

  14. January 11, 2009 at 1:01 AM

    i feel the same way about rock music now. i’m pretty much indifferent to it. i don’t like pop r&b i’m pretty much a neo-soul cat. i’m not old by any stretch of the imagination but i can’t relate to 13yr olds like you said and that is why you won’t catch me in an interview with Chris Hanson. i was 11 when Kris Kross or A.B.C. came out and i thought they were dope. but, the thing is in every genre it has sub-sections of different layers of the music. Hip Hop is now 30+ and it has way more layers in it then ever, and that is a beautiful thing. Hip-Hop ain’t dead, your just old. lol.

    Like

  15. January 17, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Um, well, it’s hard for me to co-sign this one, brother. Because he’s just so damn WACK. Lyrically speaking, of course. But I guess you’re right about how we can’t knock his hustle.

    Like

  16. J.R. LeMar
    January 17, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    “But I guess you’re right about how we can’t knock his hustle.”

    And that’s all I was trying to say, really.

    Like

  17. February 7, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    I love that song.

    Like

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