I assume that Soulja Boy Tell 'Em made a deal with the devil sometime around summer 2007. The devil would make him a ringtone millionaire with the insanely popular dance jam "Crank Dat." Soulja Boy Tell 'Em would become the most successful rapper ever to have an imperative in his name, and then he would spend the rest of his life failing to replicate that success. That's the kind of irony the devil likes.
It's hard to say whether the terms of this deal bother Soulja Boy so much. His first album was titled Souljaboytellem.com, so maybe he is not troubled by a grand artistic vision. But he has also released nine albums in the seven years since "Crank Dat." If he is merely cashing in, he is working awfully hard at it. 2014's King Soulja 3 is a cookie-cutter execution of contemporary southern rap that borrows heavily from the cadences of Gucci Mane, but it is not half-assed. The last seven years of Soulja Boy's career prove that making it does not mean you quit working. The rap game lasts longer than one summer, and Soulja Boy seems intent on taking it into the late rounds.
Soulja Boy 'Tell Em plays the Wilma Wed., Aug. 13, at 8 PM. Doors open at 7. $32.50/$29.50 advance at jadepresents.com and Rockin Rudy's.