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A Look At Rapper Soulja Boy’s ‘Firsts’

Soulja Boy cannot be kept out of the conversation when it comes to boastful rappers. The rapper has claimed to hold the title as the first to do many things. Some may be disputable, but Soulja Boy has indeed come a long way within his career. It’s hard to deny that the Atlanta rapper has accomplished much in his 31-years. One of Soulja Boy’s favorite phrases to say is, “I was the first to do it.” Such was said while he made a guest appearance on Revolt TV’s Assets Over Liabilities podcast. During the 48-minute conversation, the “Kiss Me Through The Phone” rapper touched on much of his successes and how he’s been innovative. 

When the public began to realize that social media was, in fact, not going anywhere and would be here to stay, Soulja Boy capitalized on the platforms. The young rapper’s debut single in 2007, “Crank Dat (Soulja Boy),” took over the airwaves with millions of singles sold and was soon labeled the biggest dance fad, all of this before TikTok. The debut also spent seven weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Despite whatever antics that the rapper has delved into over the years, he’s been involved in pioneering for many an up-and-coming artist. Soulja Boy has often shared that he was the first rapper to go viral on YouTube. Showbiz Cheatsheet obtained a tweet from the rapper that shows proof of his claims. The tweet contained an excerpt from an article that shows a timeline of Youtube’s beginning, stating that Soulja Boy uploaded his first video three months after. While on the podcast, Soulja Boy speaks on being a then-16-year-old with aims to change the game. The rapper touched on the “traditional route” of fulfilling his dreams but noted that his drive and passion led him to the Internet.  

Soulja Boy tells how he first utilized the website Soundclick to release his music. According to the rapper, his early successes on Soundclick ultimately helped him make a daily sum of around $10,000 while in high school from multiple downloads and millions of views. After the Soundclick era, Myspace began to grow in popularity. A brand new site at the time, Soulja Boy took the initiative to develop himself and his artistry on the platform. Once he switched platforms, his loyal Soundclick fanbase followed him to Myspace. He quickly became number one on Myspace’s charts. Enter YouTube.

With Soulja Boy already being successful both on Soundclick and Myspace, it wasn’t complicated for a Youtube following to begin. Soulja’s fanbase gravitated towards his Youtube page, helping him go viral. “Before viral was a thing, the [stuff] just started doing millions and millions of views,” the rapper said. Early YouTube days did not have much ad content at the time, but the rapper shared that he was the “first rapper to be paid from YouTube” and claimed that he started the ability.  

“When I first got on YouTube, there was no payment revenue program. You couldn’t get paid,” recalled Soulja Boy. “It was just [that] you upload your video, and it was just views. This was like, 2006.”  

Continuing, Soulja Boy explained how he began to get paid from the platform. “After I got my record deal, people started trolling me. This was before I knew what trolling was, though. People would be in the comments trolling,” he stressed. The comments, he said, got to him and propelled him to upload another video to his Youtube channel. In a never-before-told story, Soulja Boy says that he made up a lie that he receives three cents with every comment he gets.

Along with this, the rapper claimed to receive five cents per view on Youtube. Once he did that, he says the hateful comments ceased. Shortly after that, the rapper claimed that Youtube allowed people to monetize their video content. Soulja Boy also states that he has made millions from YouTube since.  

Soulja Boy also capitalized off of the “ringtone era,” where many people purchased their favorite songs and made them as their phone’s ringtones. The rapper definitely made tons of money from ringtones alone, which caused many to label him a “ringtone rapper.” But this was not a marketing ploy from him or his team. In fact, Soulja Boy claims that the success from the ringtone sales all happened naturally. Hear Soulja Boy speak on his many accomplishments below, including those in the tech and video game world.

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