The Score: Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, "The DeAndre Way"

Wednesday, Dec 1, 2010 12:00AM

Written by Jesse Prince

Buy Now
  • The Deandre Way
  • Soulja Boy
  • November 30, 2010
Planet Ill 2.5/5
Slant Magazine 3.5/5
Starpulse 2/5
IGN 7.5/10
TGRI Online 4/5
Entertainment Weekly 3.5/5

Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy Tell 'Em returns with his third studio release, The DeAndre Way.

It's been three years since his "Crank Dat" debut, and Soulja Boy's third go-round is an attempt of marking his maturity.

The hip-hop boy king Soulja Boy is no longer a boy. Soulja, a.k.a. DeAndre Way, is 20 years old. And he's no longer a pop insurgent, either. Where once he wormed his way onto the airwaves with appealingly homespun productions and atavistic rapping, now he's a part of the system. His third album, The DeAndre Way, occasionally slips into machine-like fits. The exuberant but rote "Mean Mug," a goofy bruiser with 50 Cent, bobs and weaves, rarely punching. Likewise, "Blowing Me Kisses" is perhaps the glossiest, most glib entry in his regrettable loverman oeuvre.(Washington Post)

Soulja Boy recruited a few of the industry's burgeoning artists as well as a hip-hop mogul to see things his way.

The Deandre Way is light on guest appearances, with Trey Songz, Lil B., Bei Maejor, Esther Dean and G-Unit's frontman 50 Cent ("Mean Mug") making cameos. (AllHipHop)

Additionally, the album's tracks are handled by  a few established beatsmiths.

The DeAndre Way (producers: Lex Luger, Drumma Boy, Boi-1da, Kanye West, No I.D., J. R. Rotem, Polow da Don, Jim Jonsin, K.E. On The Track, G5 Kids, Bei Maejor (pauseandplay)

DeAndre Way's lead single "Pretty Boy Swag" is based on how the YouTube phenom carries himself.

"I'll put it like this, I feel I've always had the ability to have Pretty Boy Swag but it became official in the beginning of 2010," Soulja Boy explained in an interview. "[I was a millionaire for three years] but I wasn't official. It's the whole nine. I've been rich, but I ain't always dress how I dress. I had money but I didn't have the look. I'm 20-years-old and now it's a movement. Of course [females play a big part in Pretty Boy Swag]. That's why I say 'All the girls are on me--swag' Like don't get that misconstrued. That's 100% real talk." (SOHH)

While critics note that Soulja Boy didn't deviate from his tried formula for his third effort, opinions varied on the method of Deandre's Way.

All in all The DeAndre Way is a great urban pop album. It will sell truckloads and please a lot of people. It is full of hooks that kids will be repeating in classrooms and that radio may well get behind. (themusicnetwork)

Soulja Boy's songs remain bizarre models of economy and naiveté, wielding repetitive hooks that pivot on mesmerizingly circular beats. Songs like "First Day of School," about his wardrobe, and "30 Thousand Million," about his budget, are deceptively venal and hollow, containing wacky gems like "Word around town's that my d*ck tastes like ribs." It's an aesthetic that merges the flashy decadence of late-'90s Bad Boy with the boozy lethargy of Southern rap, spinning songs that wallow in their own gaudy indolence. (Slant Magazine)

To purchase DeAndre Way, just click here.

Preview songs from the album below:

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