Soulja Boy + Gucci Mane – “Bands”
Soulja Boy + Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti – “Shopping Spree”
Soulja Boy + Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo (<–please ignore) – "Gucci Bandanna"
Where Soulja Boy sits commercially now is, I imagine, a mystery to everyone at his label. After coasting into 2008 on the back of one of the biggest pop singles of the decade, he’s trickled out a few more singles off his album, the biggest of which, “Donk”, made a small dent on rap radio in the South but that’s about it. The supposed first big single off his follow-up, “iDance”, was directly passed along to the morgue about two days after it showed up on YouTube. His new single, “Bird Walk” (video at the end of this post), is a Soulja Boy single to the core: clattering percussion, simple but catchy keyboard line, tons of chanting, huge chorus. If the kid is able to get something this confrontational on to pop radio then he might actually be sticking around for a while.
Over the summer he started posting mixtape tracks to his YouTube channel, some of which featured guest verses from Gucci Mane, one of the first major rappers, to my knowledge, to collab with Soulja Boy. For Soulja Boy, having a respected Southern MC on his songs both legitimizes his art in his mind and, more importantly, gives him a foil aside from the legitimately brain dead Arab. As for Gucci, the Soulja Boy tracks provide for him harder, rawer beats unlike the (really well-produced) Zone 4/Zone 4-rip off joints that highlight his last solo album Back to the Traphouse. But, unlike countless other stuff that Gucci’s gone over this year, the Soulja Boy beats aren’t too mixtape-y. They’re noisy but not muddled, not at all hi-fi but not DatPiff quality either.
Mostly though, the songs allow Gucci, a dude who has his eyes on pop music (or at least commercially successful rap music) and a knack for hitting his mark, to enter into the world of a kid who’s trying to make the hardest, most nonconforming, most singular pop-rap around. They also make sure that Soulja Boy has good rapping on his songs. It’s an excellent mix.
Soulja Boy – “Bird Walk”