If you let him tell it, Soulja Boy was the first person to walk on Earth. The Southern-bred rapper is no stranger to making bold claims and it’s now become his brand. In the last few years alone, he’s given himself credit for numerous things like inventing FaceTime, being the first rapper to take a selfie, starting the rap trend of spelling things out with money and being the first spitter on Twitter. These claims are seen by most as outlandish, but funny enough, Soulja does have his fair share of “first” receipts.
Hate it or love it, Soulja Boy is one of the most influential rappers in the game. When his Billboard Hot 100 No. 1-charting song “Crank That” came out in 2007—equipped with a dance craze that revolutionized the game and made way for others like the Reject, Cat Daddy, Dougie and Shmoney Dance—the infinite reach of the internet was much smaller. YouTube was also super fresh, as it launched just a couple years before the song’s release. Once the track caught fire, “Crank That” videos were literally everywhere online, as were spin-offs that had people cranking that Batman, Superman and Spongebob. So, was he the first rapper to go viral and “break” YouTube? It’s hard to argue against that.
There are some materialistic things that Soulja Boy has claimed that have yet to be actually refuted as well. G-Shock watches have stood as one of the game’s most trendy and more affordable watches, way before Rolexes and Richard Milles made noise. Back in 2021, Kid Cudi iced-out his G-Shock and the video of it went viral due to the nostalgia factor most likely than anything else. That moment gave Soulja inspiration to dig up his own archival footage that seemingly confirms that he first put ice on the same brand of watch back in 2010. If you can prove otherwise, please do, but as it currently stands, he’s got that one.
Now, respectfully, this is Soulja Boy we’re talking about. For 15 years now, he’s been the master of creating headlines. Getting people to talk about him and his enthusiastic declarations is the norm. So, it’s safe to say that everything should be taken with a grain of salt. But here, XXL separates the facts from the cap. Below are multiple Soulja Boy claims that actually ring true. Check out Soulja Bou’s
- First Rapper to Go “Viral” on YouTubeA good chunk of artists in the rap game have earned record deals and fame off going viral on apps like Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. But before the world was addicted to scrolling, YouTube was a primary outlet for spreading content. Soulja Boy really does appear to be the first rapper to take advantage of that. His 2007 self-produced song “Crank That” and its accompanying video spawned over a dozen additional dance crazes. Hundreds of YouTube dance tutorials and performances followed, which were cross-pollinated across platforms and impossible to ignore. It’s not to say that artists haven’t similarly had a crazy amount of success prior to this point when it comes to trends, but back in 2007, the game was shifting from physical to digital and Soulja was for sure at the forefront of it all.