Soulja Boy still exists. He still records music, puts together albums and releases them for public consumption. Whether this is a good idea is an entirely different matter.

Soulja Boy

The Deandre Way
Stacks on Deck

The Deandre Way, his newest album, is scheduled to be released Nov. 30. The album’s concept? “My way of thinking, my logic, my theory on a lot of things,” said the 20-year-old rapper told Hiphopstan.com. “It’s basically my interpretation on life … my logic, my theory on a lot of things.”

For an album devoid of emotional complexity, conjunctions and, in many cases, multisyllabic words, the thought of The Deandre Way representing anyone’s life is frightening. In fact, it’s difficult to find a trace of logic in any one of the album’s 10 tracks.

With its opening song “First Day of School,” one might expect touching recollections of childhood, reaching goals to be a rap superstar or a raw account of growing up in a rough side of town — something even mildly personal. Instead, the track is a tribute to the rapper’s exceptional dressing skills. That’s right, a four-minute description of his matching shirt, hat and belt babbled obnoxiously over a beat. Since the last half of nearly every word in the chorus is omitted, it’s tricky to make out what exactly the artist is saying. But something along the lines of “I dress every day like it’s the first day of school” can be picked out. How’s that for a peek into the mind of an inexplicable rap sensation?

The rest of the album’s content is equally laughable. Topics include making and spending millions of dollars — an amount to “go crazy over,” dealing with the “trippin’ ” and “flippin’ ” of other people, sexy ladies and driving around while playing absurdly loud music.

At least “Fly” contains the personal touches promised by the rapper. On the track, he discusses the beauty of life and reaching one’s goals, calling for the listener to spread his or her wings. With these lyrics sprinkled over a piano and a light, catchy drumbeat, the song could even be considered inspiring despite its predictable and overdone carpe diem-themed lines.

Lyrics on The Deandre Way may be a letdown, but at least some of the songs are catchy. “Pretty Boy Swag” is perhaps the easiest track to listen to, featuring a slow, solid beat layered with piano and quicker drums. He delivers the lyrics aggressively, though also in a gradual tempo, pulsing confidently with the background music. Apart from its powerful beat, however, the track possesses few memorable traits. Its presence on the album, along with “Mean Mug” and “30 Thousand 100 Million,” serves as a botched attempt to sound cool. The songs’ reports of the rapper’s style and street power are unconvincing, especially when paired with the album’s cutesy love ballads and romantic stock phrases. Lines like “Hey cutie” and “I want to take you around the world” can only be heard on the radio so many times before sounding stale and boring.

Despite claims of exploring more personal territory with his newest release, Soulja Boy is far from crafting a moving album. With the exception of a few songs, the album is a shallow, uninspired view of a rapper’s money, romances and strength in the streets — none of which are revolutionary in concept or sound.

With the release of his first novel “Teenage Millionaire” drawing near, maybe we should give Soulja Boy a break. He’s probably saving the complex “logic” for the intellectual world. You know, for people who can appreciate his depth.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.