Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Soulja Boy Tell 'Em

  • [ColliPark Music/Interscope, 2007] A-
  • iSouljaboytellem [ColliPark Music/Interscope, 2008] **

Consumer Guide Reviews: [ColliPark Music/Interscope, 2007]
Boy do the haters get busy on this 16-year-old. But scrutinize the "superman" matter (look it up) and you'll see that even if he thought he was sneaking something outlandishly filthy onto a pop record, his fans thought he was inventing a dance that involved flying, thus furthering the presumption of innocence so crucial to his cute. Unlike his crunk forebears, he's not into pimping or dealing or even strip clubs--"Booty Meat" is as explicit as his carnality gets, and not only is he looking not touching, he's hoping an amateur will "turn around just like a pro." He's still boy enough to worry about those F's, and the most winning of his many winning songs was written to, and on, his Sidekick 3. There are enough sonic strokes here to keep the wrong bizzer in ringtone rappers for a year. But Soulja Boy's spiritual secret is that with less subcultural support than, say, Be Your Own Pet, he's reached the top of his world on a few tips from ex-partner Young Kwon and the loyalty of human sidekick Arab. You can hear how tickled he is about it. A-

iSouljaboytellem [ColliPark Music/Interscope, 2008]
Stoopid, but far from dumb--especially compared to the dogboys who froth at the mouth about him ("Bird Walk," "Eazy," "Soulja Boy Tellem"). **