Highly anticipated 2007 album from the young Hip Hop artist from Atlanta. At an age normally reserved for acne remedies and orthodonture, Soulja Boy signed to the inimitable roster at Interscope Records. Creating a grass-roots buzz through the internet, Soulja Boy's name and early recordings became popular in the Hip Hop underground. He paired with Atlanta-based manager Derrick Crooms, who'd been responsible for shaping the Ying-Yang Twins' successes. Soulja landed his first live performance at the grizzled age of 15, at a teen nightclub in Indianapolis, Indiana. Interscope.
If you're over 21, file souljaboytellem.com under guilty pleasures. If you're younger, let it rip without reservation. Either way, don't diss the man for acting his age: at 17, Soulja tells it like it is, whether he's heaping praise on the handheld device that saved a song he thought up on the fly (see "Sidekick") or haranguing pointlessly over his poor grades (see "Report Card"). Granted, by the time you reach the self-explanatory song, "Booty Meat," three-quarters into the disc, there's a chance you'll have had your fill of Soulja's often raunchy, always juvenile stream-of-consciousness, but so what. The first several tracks, including radio staple "Crank That (Soulja Boy)," satisfy a need for the light and the loopy (witness the lyric "So get out my face, you doo-doo head dummy" on "Yahhh!"), and the production throughout, with help from Collipark, is likably loose--to tune in is to get hit over the head with infectious hooks and down-bottom beats. Mostly, this is a prime example of what an ATL-derived dance-party disc--not a proper hip-hop one--ought to sound like. Buy it with no bigger expectations and you (or "yoouuuuuuu," as Soulja would have it) won't be disappointed. --Tammy La Gorce