Friday Vid Picks: Soulja Boy’s Back


The teenage superstar who brought you the “supermanning” dance sensation of 2007 is back with a new jam. Whether you made your own Crank Dat dance video or thought the infectious beat was migraine-inducing, there is no doubt the Chi-town-born ATL-hailing Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em (copyright issues made him officially change his name from “Soulja Boy”) has become an Internet mega-sensation. His infamous first single, Crank Dat (Soulja Boy), has become the best-selling digital single ever, CNN reports. With over three million ringtones sold, Crank Dat has sat at No. 1 on the ringtone chart for 18 weeks and counting.

The viewcount numbers on YouTube are equally ridiculous. His original music video is the 17th most viewed video ever, with nearly 30 million views, and another 11 million views on the Universal Music Group posting of the same video. He has 14 videos that have accrued over a million views. His viral success extends far beyond his own well-traveled YouTube channel, on which he currently has 126 videos. Over 20 fan-created mashup, crashup, and webcam dance videos have racked up over a million views each. The scope of this video sensation is unlike anything we’ve seen before. I’ve included the upload date and view count with each video. It seems if you just put “Soulja Boy Crank Dat” in the title of your video you’re guaranteed a million extra views.


Uploaded: Jan. 10, 2008. View Count: 834,950
Note the prominent display of Soulja’s own ringtone.

Soulja Boy Tellem – How to Crank That – INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO!

Uploaded: Aug. 2, 2007. View Count: 25,146,350.
With nearly as many views as the original music video, this instructional video was a brilliant move on Soulja Boy’s part. Allowing his fan base of webcam-dancing teenagers to practice the moves step-by-step has created a dance phenomenon and spurred the upload of hundreds of fan video.

Crank Dat Soulja Boy Spongebob

Uploaded: June 16, 2007. View Count: 23,508,256
There are also recut music videos using Winnie the Pooh, Dora the Explorer, Alvin and the Chipmunks (complete with high-pitched vocals), The Simpsons, Mario, and Superman (of course), all of which have over one million views each.

Soulja Boy CNN News

Uploaded: Jan. 14, 2008. View Count: 153,842.
Ripped from CNN, it’s always entertaining to see old teevee reportage trying to grapple with the novelty of new teevee.

Soulja Boy dance, MIT style

Uploaded: Oct. 3, 2007. View Count: 30,125.
Even nerds need to crank it sometimes. Notice that that is indeed Richard Stallman, software freedom hacktivist, dancing in the middle holding a laptop.


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