Soulja Boy, born DeAndre Cortez Way, is a 23-year old rapper, actor and entrepreneur. He was born in Chicago, but moved to Atlanta, where his music career began. He started rapping at the age of 14 and was encouraged to perfect his craft by his father, who purchased studio equipment for him in order to be able to record his songs at home. He is known for his style of catchy and repetitive hooks.
He is most famous for his first single “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” which was an Internet sensation that later when on to be a number one hit in America for almost two months straight. This song spawned a popular dance as well and rocketed Soulja Boy into super-stardom. He already began appearing on the Forbes lists of Hip-Hop Cash Kings in 2010, a year in which he earned $7 million. His career is seen by many as the beginning of the importance of social media in starting a music career, particularly in hip-hop music. He was already a household name thanks to sites such as Myspace, Soundclick and YouTube in 2007 without even signing a record deal. He released an independent album in 2007, but was quickly snapped up by Interscope Records and signed to a deal. His first major label album “Souljaboytellem.com” was released in late 2007 and has gone platinum.