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Why’s it Forgotten? Crank That (Soulja Boy)

Kevthewriter cranks that Soulja Boy.

In 2007, Crank That (Soulja Boy) was huge. The anime music video (AMV) remixes on YouTube were highly popular and everyone in Middle and High School Classes were talking about the song and doing the dance found in the video and shouting YOU at the top of their lungs.

For a while it was big. Then in 2008, the hype didn’t just die down, people pretty much forgot it existed. The only time I have ever heard anyone play this song since 2008 is when it was in the movie Boyhood for a couple of minutes and that was only to establish that a scene was taking place in the late 2000’s.

What happened? What made the song such a big cultural phenomenon that was then so quickly forgotten?

What probably didn’t help was that, while Soulja Boy has had other songs, some of which were hits, this was the only song that anyone was really talking about. As a result, Soulja Boy as an artist was quickly forgotten about and he went from being a popular artist to someone who only has a small group of fans. He’s still working, sure, but he’s nowhere near as popular as he was back in 2007.

Of course what probably doesn’t help his fade into irrelevancy isn’t just that he only had one big hit song but also the fact that he’s pissed off a lot of people including many school boards across the nation, Ice-T, Charles Hamilton, Bow Wow, and even The U.S. Armed Forces! I am not kidding about the latter!

His ego probably helped solidify him even more as a one hit wonder as, when you piss a lot of people off, no matter what profession, it’s just going to bite you back in the butt and make it hard for you to get work. Just ask Katherine Heigl and Mike Myers.

But, while Soulja Boy’s fade from relevance didn’t help give this song any lasting impact, it wasn’t the only reason. I think another reason is that this song pretty much became famous as an internet meme. Many people first saw it on YouTube and the anime music videos made for the songs definitely helped up its popularity. The one that was remixed with Winnie the Pooh of all things even got 13 million views! 13 million for an AMV!

The problem with this is internet memes tend to have short shelf lives. I mean, look at Fred. Remember Fred? The answer is probably no. But back in the late 2000’s/early 2010’s, Fred was so popular he got his own TV show. Now? No one talks about him. This is because internet memes are just seen as fads that are really popular one minute but soon people forget about them and just go on to the next meme. It was true back then and it’s true now.

So that’s why, 10 years later, Crank That (Soulja Boy) is basically forgotten. It’s online presence helped solidify its popularity but, to many, it ended up being seen as a meme and memes are rarely, if ever, remembered. Couple that with the fact that Soulja Boy never really topped the success of this song and his ego and behavior basically lost him a lot of fans in Hollywood.

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Posted on December 2, 2017, in Music, Why'd it bomb? and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Meme or no meme, the song itself screams one-hit wonder. Which he actually wasn’t, as he had four more Top 40 hits, including a further Top 5 hit with “Kiss Me Thru The Phone”. But there you go: it’s a goofy, party song, with a very simple, almost nursery rhyme-like strucutre. Of course no one would think of him as even the next Jeezy or Rick Ross or something, much less the next T.I. or Lil’ Wayne. He was pretty much bound to join future memes like the “Whip/Nae Nae”, the “Hit The Quan” or the “JuJu On That Beat” guys, whose names no one ever really knows!

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  2. In some ways, his career parallels that of another rapper from the same era: Flo Rida. Both have a hit that’s inescapable for several years before fading away. While It wasn’t their only hit, it’s the only one that anyone remembers until its forgotten only to pop up once in a while. Both of them screamed “one-hit wonder” form the start. There was no way they were going to reach the level of the aforementioned Lil Wayne or Rick Ross let alone a Rakim, Common, Ice Cube, Nas or Jay Z.

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