Reaching legendary status in hip hop is a tall feat that’s virtually impossible to attain. Most rappers don’t last a year in the game, let alone become a legend. But those who embark on that path would have to accomplish at least one of two, very difficult, milestones required to be a legend. You would either, one, have to sustain a level consistency through selling records and making hits for at least a minimum of five years. Or, second, be a game changer in which you’ve made such an impact on the genre that the game was never the same once you entered it.
Some artists are recognized as legends sooner than others. But one, who is long overdue for his respected status as a legend is Soulja Boy… yes Soulja!! To be blunt, if there were no Soulja Boy there would be no Drake, J. Cole, Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar and pretty much every artist that came in the game after Soulja. What people fail to realize is that Soulja Boy was the first rapper to use the internet, successfully, to raise himself into the mainstream. “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” was originally made by Soulja in his home studio. From there he proceeded to brand himself on the internet, via MySpace, where he developed a pretty moderate following, given the time. It was that following that eventually got his record on the radio in Atlanta, which turned into a record deal, which turned into a Platinum debut album.
Soulja Boy’s entry caused a complete paradigm shift in the way hip hop is viewed, consumed and promoted. Prior to Soulja, no label executive would have ever, seriously, considered signing an artist based on a song uploaded to their social media site. But today, this is the industry standard. Getting a record deal, today, is almost solely contingent upon the number of views, likes and favorites you receive on the songs you’ve posted on your social media site (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud… etc.). Every artist mentioned earlier should be thanking Soulja for their success. They didn’t come into the rap game the way it used to be when an artist would ride around the city selling his tapes out of the trunk of his car. Or Standing in front of a radio station or Label hoping to be heard. No, from Drake to Kendrick Lamar, they did it Soulja’s way, which is get hot on the internet first and the success will follow.