In a year filled with quirky hip-hop party tunes, their accompanying dances, and the YouTube-fueled teen mania that would follow, Soulja Boy Tell Em's killer pop-rap single "Crank That" stood out from the crowd thanks to the charismatic showman at its center and his strange way with words. Produced by the 17-year-old Soulja Boy Tell Em himself, "Crank That" combines a steel drum hook with a fat-bottomed Mississippi beat, but it's the bizarre lyrics that matter most as questions like "Why me crank that Robocop?" sit next to nonsensical called-out dance instructions. Only a few of the tracks on Soulja Boy Tell Em's debut advocate a dance, but this formula of infectious hook, trunk-rumbling beat, and wonderfully dumb words is all the album knows. If it wasn't for the whiny guitar riff, "Snap and Roll" could easily be mistaken for "Crank That," while "Bapes" is more of the same at a slower tempo with Soulja Boy Tell Em wondering why haters get mad when he dons his Bathing Ape gear. It's only after the great "Report Card" ("Check out my report card/Looked at it, all F's/Took it the teacher/Said 'Throw some D's on it'") that the party drops off, which isn't just a testament to Soulja Boy Tell Em's unique skills but also to executive producer Mr. Collipark's great attitude towards the overall product. Collipark and his crew, the Package Store, handle production for a handful of numbers, Arab and Los Vegaz both helm a tune, but the rest is left to Soulja Boy Tell Em and the end result is a debut that feels like it was downloaded right off a Southern hood laptop. This solid party album should satisfy giggling Right On! readers with pin-ups in their locker, way too cool mash-up fans that carry gigabytes of club music in their pocket, and all the freaky party people in between.
* Not available for purchase via gift voucher