Put enough hip hop-enthused teens in a room with access to FL Studio and a recording set-up and eventually one of them will make a hit. It wasn’t much of a surprise that the 17-year-old Soulja Boy made waves on the Internet with simple, catchy rap songs, but no one could have predicted that “Crank Dat” would become one of the biggest songs of the decade. Soulja Boy struck gold with a song and dance that resonated with his generation, and with some tech prowess and the luck of being in the right place at the right time, he became one of the first artists to reach out to generations Y and Z via the Internet.
Soulja Boy had a successful year or two in the spotlight, but no one was refuting that he wasn’t a flash in the pan. Eventually the winds of change swept through. The popularity of Dem Franchize Boyz was short-lived. The radio stopped playing “Walk It Out” by Unk. Soulja Boy, too, was soon forgotten. The industry no longer wanted snap.
Seven years later, Soulja Boy is still making music. The issue is that he never had any real musical talent, and that hasn’t changed. Soulja Boy’s skill has always been in hustling. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop him from making music. His latest release, King Soulja 3, is Soulja Boy recognizing that his old style no longer draws a crowd, so as you might expect, Soulja has hopped onto the latest trend. King Soulja 3 is Soulja Boy’s crack at tapping into the trap market.
Soulja Boy does sound right at home over the trap beats. Whether that’s a testament to the simplicity of trap rap or Soulja Boy’s skill at transitioning to a new sound is up to you to decide. Still, King Soulja 3 doesn’t do anything to stand out against the competitors. Aside from a few fun hooks, the lyrics are entirely forgettable. Thankfully, solid production saves this project from complete failure. The beats aren’t groundbreaking. In fact, they’re fairly run-of-the-mill. They stick to the basic trap formula, but it’s a pattern that works to make King Soulja 3 passable. Thankfully the tape has excellent mixing and mastering, with hard-hitting bass and crisp vocals. It’s sometimes an overlooked aspect, but Soulja Boy didn’t skimp on the engineering side for King Soulja 3.
This is a project that I would only suggest to the Soulja Boy fans, except I’m not sure if there are still people out there waiting for that new Soulja Boy to drop. King Soulja 3 gets a few things right, and actually might surprise some, but it’s still far from being good enough to recommend taking the time out of your day to sit and listen to this, let alone spending $9.99 on it. There are some solid beats and hooks, but it’s not like you can’t find better trap rap elsewhere. King Soulja 3 plays it safe and copies the latest trends. The one outlier is “Withdrawal”, which features Gudda Gudda and a super smooth beat that really could have used a Curren$y blessing. However, one really good song isn’t enough to save this project.
If you’re reading this review because you are that guy who’s still waiting for the new Soulja Boy, then by all means check this out. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. For everyone else, I suggest you save your time and money.