By the far the most hilarious teenage millionaire on planet Earth is the Atlanta-based, not-at-all-one-hit-wonder Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, whose particular variety of performative genius has inspired both EMP panels (“Soulja Boy is neither a cipher, like dance-rap wonders Tag Team or 69 Boyz before him, nor a cultural force like MC Hammer. His fame is a manifestation of physical provocation–I must learn this dance–rather than intellectual rigor or emotional sway”) and a Wikipedia page that contains the sentence: “In the original YouTube video for “Shootout,” Soulja Boy demonstrates his dance while holding a handgun in each hand and pretending to shoot into the audience.”
From a certain perspective, he’s an amazing dancer. He writes unbelievably effective hooks, which he rattles off as if he were seeing them for the first time on a teleprompter. On “Gold Grill Shawty,” he rhymes “I buy a new chain every single fucking Monday” with “praying to the lord like every single Sunday,” and “I just hit the Kush blunt, now I’m hungry.” Saying Soulja Boy lacks emotional sway is an understatement so powerful it almost occludes the material reality of the man. He is moving insofar as he will attempt to explain his Phantom’s customized features with a metaphor: “Like a garbage basketball player, it ain’t got no handles.” This is a guy who is having a lot more fun than the rest of us.