7 reasons why Soulja Boy is not a one-hit wonder

This story was originally published on June 15, 2009.

When the first-week sales figures came in last December for the follow-up to his smash 2007 debut, Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy Tell 'em didn't necessarily like the numbers.

The album, "iSouljaBoyTellem," sold about 45,000 copies its first seven days in stores. Its predecessor "Souljaboytellem.com"-- with the inescapable single "Crank That" -- sold almost three times that in the same period.

"I was kind of worried," concedes 18-year-old Soulja Boy (born DeAndre Way). "I was like, 'I might be a one-hit wonder for real.' You know, my career might be over."

With that, Soulja Boy decided to reach back to the same DIY digital muscle that initially made "Crank That" a phenom on the Internet. The single went on to sell what was then a record number of downloads on iTunes.

"I took matters into my own hands to make 'Kiss Me Thru The Phone,' my second single," Soulja Boy says in a recent interview. "I sent a blast out to over one million people on SayNow -- that's my phone number 678-999-8212, and right now I'm at over 2.3 million subscribers." (Saynow.com allows music fans to call a direct number to receive updates or leave messages for a specific artists.)

"I took 'Kiss Me Thru The Phone' to those million subscribers," he says. "They said they liked it. And I said, 'Well, request it on the radio!' "

Here are Seven Signs Soulja Boy Is Not A One-Hit Wonder:

• "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" has been atop Billboard's Hot RingMasters chart for weeks. It's No. 4 among the Hot 100 pop tracks, and was just knocked from the No. 1 Rap Tracks listing to No. 2 this week.

• Follow-up single "Turn My Swag On" has been tagged "Greatest Gainer" on the Rap Tracks chart, where it shares the Top 10 with "Kiss" at No. 7.

• Atlanta director Mr. Boston shot the video for "Gucci Bandana," featuring Atlanta rappers Gucci Mane and Shawty Low. "When I was shooting this video, says Soulja Boy, "it all kicked in. Like, [here] I was riding in the Lamborghini. [I've] got my favorite rapper in the passenger seat, who I've been listening to since I was 12 years old. And all of these people -- like 2000 people -- showed up [at Coan Park]."

• R&B superstar Usher invited him to record on a single. "We had a good session. And I think we [recorded] a hit that's going to sell the album," Soulja Boy says.

• He's been asked to work on a video game for Xbox 360 and PS3. He has his own shoe line in Finish Line stores nationwide.

• He can still stir up a controversy. About 10 students at University of Minnesota Duluth protested outside his concert, saying his lyrics degrade women. It was reportedly the first ever sold-out show in the campus gym's history. "I respect women," Soulja Boy says.

• "Crank That" wasn't the last hit before "Kiss." "Souljaboytellem.com" singles "Soulja Girl," "Donk" and "YAHHH!" all made it to at least the Top 25 of a Billboard chart.

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