Soulja Boy sure did tell them, as the rapper went off on Kanye West, Drake, Tyga and more in a new interview. For those unaware of who he is, get all the facts about Big Draco.
Soulja Boy (aka Soulja Boy Tell Em) gave 2019 its first major rap beef when he took shots at Drake, 32, Kanye West, 41, Tyga, 29, Meek Mill, 31, and Migos during a Jan. 16 appearance on The Breakfast Club. The 28-year-old rapper didn’t hold back, saying he “made” Drake, that Migos stole a beat from him, said Tekashi 6ix9ine, 22, was just “a Soulja Boy Child,” that Tyga wasn’t deserving of “Comeback of 2018” because Travis Scott, 26, took Kylie Jenner, 21, from him, and that Kanye made “ugly shoes.” Some people online agreed that Soulja deserved the credit of being a pioneer, while others said that Big Draco was “wildin’” in the recording booth. Either way, 2019 has started off hot – so who exactly is this Soulja Boy.
1. He is a rapper who first made it big off a viral dance hit. Soulja Boy was born DeAndre Cortez Way on July 28, 1990, in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Atlanta after his family moved there when he was six years old. At age 14, he relocated to Batesville, Mississippi, and began uploading music online. In 2007, he released “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” originally off his Unsigned & Still Major: Da Album Before da Album but included in his debut studio album, SouljaBoyTellEm.com.
“Crank That (Soulja Boy)” blew up (the YouTube video currently has 375 million views), and the then-17-year-old Soulja Boy was a superstar. The song, dance and accompanying instructional music video made him a mainstream sensation, and the track topped the US Billboard Hot 100. It lingered in the Hot 100 for 7 weeks. Though critics panned the album, it debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 110,000 copies in its first week.
2. Soulja Boy was a Soundcloud rapper before there was Soundcloud. “I found out about the Website SoundClick,” Soulja Boy told Vulture in 2008 when explaining his success. “You’d post MP3s and people would rate on your music and you’d get put on charts. I had this song called “Doo Doo Head.” It was this stupid comedic song — and after a few weeks, it went No. 1 on the charts and everyone started coming to my page looking for new music. Then I found MySpace, made my first page and linked the MySpace page from SoundClick. Really all my MySpace views came from SoundClick and my YouTube clicks came from MySpace; they fed off each other.”
Since his 2007 debut, he’s released three more major label releases, with 2015’s Loyalty being the latest. He has released a ton of mixtapes, and a handful of independent albums. He has released plenty of singles but none have been able to replicate the success as “Crank That.”
3. He almost got into a boxing match with Chris Brown. Soulja Boy has beefed with many rappers of the years, including Ice T, Hopsin, Bow Wow and others. In 2017, he got into it with Chris Brown, after Soulja accused Chris of threatening him for liking a photo of his ex-girlfriend, Karrueche Tran. Soulja then taunted Chris over his parenting skills and his relationship with Rihanna. Chris challenged Soulja to a boxing match. Soulja recruited Floyd Mayweather to train him, and Mike Tyson eagerly vowed to teach Chris “every dirty trick in the book.”
It was during this feud that Soulja Boy made a fool out of himself while doing an Instagram Live video. “What’s going on, man? They say Soulja Boy ain’t from the hood,” Soulja said before someone pushed the phone out of his hand, leaving viewers to think he had been jumped. As for the fight, it never happened. Chris bowed out, saying it was “immature.”
4. His nickname is Big Draco. Sorry, but it’s not a Harry Potter reference. Soulja Boy has the nickname of “Big Draco” not because he’s a fan of Draco Malfoy, but because he’s a fan of the mini Draco AR-IS assault weapon. “It’s no secret that the Draco is Soulja Boy’s gun of choice,” Eli Schwadron wrote in 2017 for XXL, “and it’s the weapon he supposedly used in a wild incident in which the rapper ended up shooting a home invader.” He also named his 2018 digital release Young Drako.
5. He attempted to sell a video game console. In December 2018, Soulja released the SouljaGame (and the SouljaGame Handheld) and while it advertised that these games would run Playstation, PC, SEGA, Nintendo and NEOGEO games, (while coming with anywhere from 800 to 3000 built-in games), which raised a few eyebrows from gamers who suspected these consoles weren’t legit. Amid threats of a lawsuit from Nintendo, per Dot ESports, Soulja Boy pulled the consoles, but on Jan. 12, he released the SouljaGame Handheld, which looks similar to a PlayStation Vita.