If you listen to “urban” radio at all, by now you’ve certainly heard the Crank That single by Soulja Boy, a 17-year old rapper from Atlanta. The track features Caribbean sounding beats and a fairly unique (to me) chanting style of rap. The reason I’m writing about it is not because of the song’s mundane lyrics or catchy sound, rather the way in which it got famous.
The MySpace page has the song heard over 4.8 million times, and over 12 million views on the profile. If you look at YouTube, there are tons of remixes and fan videos that have taken clips from shows like Family Guy and put the song over them. The best remix is by far Travis Barker drumming over the song. I could totally imagine this mix ending up on a rock station with the original playing on the hip-hop stations.
It’s pretty amazing how much momentum this artist has picked up by the way of the internet and community driven sites. A few of the reviews I’ve been reading of his upcoming album basically say that it was due to the huge viewership on MySpace and YouTube that drove the song to the top position on the Billboard charts. That’s just plain cool.