Friday, December 30, 2011

Last Mixtape of 2011: DeAndre "Soulja Boy" Cortez Way - Gold on Deck (Clams Casino Riddim)

Self-proclaimed "Ringtone Rapper," Soulja Boy is that young, instantly successful artist that everyone loves to hate. Soulja's detractors proclaimed that he's one of the highly "disposable" rappers that have allegedly "killed" [ruined] Hip-Hop in recent years. His die-hard fans will obviously fire back with examples supporting the exact opposite. I must admit that I am in fact one of those fans; Albeit a close observer who's followed Soulja Boy's career path over the years, but a fan nonetheless. A creative 21-year-old young man hailing from Chicago, Soulja Boy's overall message is surprisingly positive and violence free - In an era of "Hard as Nails" gun-slinging rappers, DeAndre Way is a rarity: Guy simply traveling down the straight-and-narrow who claims absolutely no gang affiliation whatsoever nor a violent, blood-drenched past.

Soulja Boy initially burst onto the music scene with debut single/turned viral meme, "Crank That" (2007). Since then, he has released numerous Pop Radio-tinged singles: "Kiss Me Thru the Phone," "Pretty Boy Swag," "Yahhh!," and "Turn My Swag On," Way is currently prepping his fourth studio album, Promise, which is rumored to be slated for an April 2012 release. Soulja Boy is in fact championed by many of his fellow peers... with celebrity mega-fans including the likes of Kanye, Gregg Gillis (Girl Talk), Clams Casino, and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. In recent times, Soulja Boy's self-produced beats have become more complex and his rhyme schemes have become more densely-layered. He almost sports a free-associative, stream-of-consciousness rapping style akin to close friend/collaborator, Lil B BASEDGOD. Prime examples of this uniquely "weird," natural progression can be found on semi-recent mixtapes like 1up and Skate Boy (Deluxe Edition).

While Clams Casino's signature mood-setting BASED production work is mysteriously absent from Soulja Boy's latest mixtape offering, Gold on Deck... that now-expected weird factor is still alive and present throughout it's 17 Pop-infused tracks. The bulk of Gold on Deck's production work was handled by Soulja Boy, along with friend-producer Lil Keis. Those who still believe that Soulja Boy is NOT a forced to be reckoned with, are without a doubt in for an unpleasant awakening. DeAndre "Soulja Boy" Cortez Way is here to stay! - Deal. Promise will reportedly feature verses from Big Sean, Snoop Dogg, KREAYSHAWN, Busta Rhymes, and Nicki Minaj. All of which will be paired along with the nation-wide release of Soulja Boy's upcoming feature-length documentary, Soulja Boy: The Movie (October 2012). Happy New Years 2011-12, my friends: Live long & prosper!

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