Interview: Toshitaka Kondo
For those that thought Soulja Boy Tell ’Em’s career was over after the first week numbers for his sophomore album, iSouljaBoyTellEm, came back at 45,000, he’s definitely having the last laugh. Since then, the album has steadily climbed to almost 200,000 copies, fueled by his smash, “Kiss Me Thru The Phone,” which sits at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the cocky “Turn My Swag On,” which has lit the streets on fire. And just for good measure, he recently shot the video for “Gucci Bandana,” with Atlanta’s favorite trap rappers, Gucci Mane and Shawty Lo. The ambitious 18 year old recently took a break from recording his third album, The DeAndre Way, and his upcoming DJ Drama Gangsta Grillz mixtape to talk to RapRadar about his first week numbers, changing his management, and Bow Wow.
Did you think your career was over when your first week sales numbers for iSouljaBoyTellEm came back at 45,000?
[When I saw] those first week numbers, I ain’t think it was over. I thought I had messed up. But I was scared. [Before] I was thinking, I’m Soulja Boy. If I push something, it’s gonna sell. I got cocky and overconfident and after I put the album out, I realized that it’s not about you, it’s about the music. Plus I had the wrong situation so I had to switch up my team. I still think my album is great. I just feel like I went with the wrong first single and had the wrong team in place.
When you say “team,” do you mean management?
Yeah. I switched management to Chris Lighty. I guess I didn’t have that much pull because at this point people still was probably speculating that I was gonna be a one hit wonder. So going into the third album, I done proved myself now as a legit artist, so management that I got now is gonna make sure that none of that gonna happen no more.
Did it cause any friction between you and Collipark given that your old manager was his brother, Derrick Crooms?
Nah. It was a move to better my career so it was no hard feelings.
What made you realize that “Birdwalk” wasn’t going to work?
When it wasn’t selling. I check all the charts myself. It wasn’t coming up on the iTunes chart or the Billboard chart. I just sat back and started just looking at it for what it was like, This is really not it! What the fuck goin’ on? But it was too late. The album was already out and it was the only song I had out.