Review Summary: Why did I listen to this? Whyyyyyyyyy?
One of the biggest of the many criticisms of the much hated album Souljaboytellem
was that every song sounded exactly the same as the last. When the new album’s title, iSouljaboytellem
is exactly the same as the last one but with one letter added on, you probably wouldn’t expect anything to have changed. And nothing really has. Soulja Boy seems to be doing nothing here but attempting to emulate the success of ‘Crank That (Soulja Boy)’. Nothing at all is new and nearly every song is based on the same style of repetitive dull melodies.
The album seems to start fine with ‘I’m Bout Tha Stacks’ which opens with a rising keyboard sound that almost believably suggests that the beats will be slightly deeper and not quite as bland and irritating as those of the debut’s. Unfortunately, the quality quickly declines, settling into a boring melody to go along with Soulja Boy’s equally boring monotonic rapping, including a chorus where he merely repeats ‘I’m bout tha…’ and then a random word for what seems like 10 minutes. This opening track does show one of the biggest strengths of iSouljaboytellem
though - many of the songs have different producers, breaking up the never ending monotony of the debut.
It is always clear which songs are produced by Soulja Boy himself as his beats are ultra-sparse, repetitive and irritating. There is a lot more variety with the guest producers though. Some tracks such as ‘Easy’ (produced by someone named Zaytoven apparently) are actually quite catchy and listenable, at least at first before getting totally irritating, despite containing sound effects that sound like they belong on a bad 60’s psychedelic album. However, straight after this comes the truly atrocious ‘Kiss Me Thru The Phone’ (produced by Jim Jonsin and featuring singing from Sammie), which sounds like it was recorded over a mediocre polyphonic ringtone. The singing is quite a nice break from Soulja Boy’s terrible rapping, but it’s not really a huge improvement.
The lyrics are equally as bad as those of the debut’s. In fact, they’re worse, lacking the surreal humour of ‘Crank That’. Instead Soulja Boy settles for annoyingly simplistic, often meaningless and usually very childish lyrics, usually focused on himself. The worst lyrics can be found in ‘Hey You There’, featuring such classic lines as ‘Hey, this right here is my theme song/I bet it is you ringtone/I farted and it smelt/It smelt like a stink bomb’ and the phrase ‘hey you there’ along with variations of it, repeated a hundred times, with little more than an occasional drum beat at funeral doom pace to back it up. And I hope he isn’t really expecting us to feel sorry for him in ‘I Pray (Outro)’ where he whines about his haters and how his life is rubbish. Boo-hoo. Also making a comeback is the ‘yuuuuh’ shouts, most noticeable in ‘Bird Walk’, a completely blatant rip-off of his own song, ‘Crank That’, complete with a new dance. The worst part about this is that it actually manages to be more annoying than the original, and is not at all catchy.
Hilariously, along with the usual nonsensical lyrics, Soulja Boy here seems to be attempting to convince us that he’s somehow ‘tough’ in the song ‘Shopping Spree’ which opens with the sound of a shotgun, followed by a ‘menacing’ synth sound and ‘gangsta’ guest rappers Gucci Mane and Yo Gotti. Of course this new found toughness would be very convincing if Soulja Boy said anything more offensive than ‘big fat police dude’.
While some of the songs by producers other than Soulja Boy can almost rise above being totally useless even those get dull after one listen, and every song produced by Soulja Boy, unfortunately most of them, sound identical and all equally awful (except ‘Hey You There’ which somehow manages to be even worse). We can only hope that without a hugely successful single to promote it, this album will instantly sink and be forgotten about forever and ever.