Soulja Boy sure has come a long way.
Back in 2007, Soulja's "Crank That" single ushered in the biggest hip-hop dance craze of the new millennium and set the stage for his debut LP, "Souljaboytellem.com" to sell upwards of a million units. He also rewrote the rules for using social networking sites to building a buzz and market music in the digital age.
Then considered a one-hit wonder, the Atlanta-based rapper/producer silenced the skeptics when he returned a year later with "Kiss Me Through the Phone" and "Turn My Swag On" featuring Sammie. Despite two Top 20 hits, SB's sophomore set, "iSouljaBoyTellem," failed to match the success of its predecessor.
Interestingly, three years later, Soulja's never been bigger. He's grown from a teeny-bop act into a controversial, tatted-up rapper. On the day of his third album's release, SB shares how much he's changed since his not-so-humble beginnings.
"I always say it’s all about growth and development," Soulja told BET.com. "I been saying it since I first started rapping. I done had situations with my family, and then it made us closer now. I done had two albums, put out two albums mainstream and I've been in the studio, becoming a better producer, a better lyricist, taking my art more seriously." Recent hit records like "Pretty Boy Swag" reflect his development as an artist. "When I first started off I was 17, I was—you know—just enjoying it, playing around and stuff."
"Now I’m 20 years old and I got more serious with it," he continued. "I done became a CEO, a businessman. I created a multimillion-dollar company that’s now producing artists and producers, producing songwriters and all that and it’s only been three years. In these three short years of me being professional in the game, I think I done changed for the better."
Soulja Boy's "The DeAndre Way" is in stores now.