First Day of School by Soulja Boy

SODMG

You know that old dude who works at the record store who complains about true music’s disintegration? The one in the tattered Led Zeppelin t-shirt religiously scanning the “oldies but goodies” section, picking out used Boston and Bread LP’s with a nerdy sweat riddled brow. He’s the guy who claims that “rock” died when John Bohnam did and says that Bruce Springsteen was the last “true musician.” I wonder what the hell this guy would think if I tied him to a chair and forced him to listen to Lil B’s new 852-track mixtape. He’d probably piss himself in anger and denounce the eccentric artist as the guy who singlehandedly killed music. But if you think about it, Lil B is as punk as they come. His DIY ethic, his “I’ll do what I want and if you don’t like it then fuck off” attitude, and his obvious passion is 110% punk. He’s probably the “truest artist to date.” Now saying he’s the greatest musician ever is outlandish; he most certainly is not. His mixtapes and albums are enduring to say the least. His attire and his attitude is so out there that it may put off conservative listeners who are used to traditional verse-chorus-verse-chorus pop. Soulja Boy, the rapper/hypebeast responsible for 2007’s club banger, “Crank That,” has taken the hip-hop DIY ethic and morphed it into a much more approachable and accessible form of music; think of him as Lil B training wheels. “First Day of School” is a boastful, semi-stream of consciousness tune that’s got Soulja word-slaying couplets regarding his clothes and “freshness.” The production is crisp and dramatic. A piano loop righteously taunts Soulja’s boastful lyrics and the MC fights right back, spewing line after line about how much swag he’s got. His delivery is undeniably southern, sounding similar to Andre 3000 choruses or Lil Jon rants. Soulja Boy is by no means the most talented MC in hip-hop but he doesn’t try to be. He just does his thing. But did Johnny Rotten know how to sing? No. Did Sid Vicious know how to play bass? Hell no. And that’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to be a Whitney Houston to be a singer. You don’t have to be the next 2Pac to rap; you’ve just got to be yourself, and that’s exactly what Soulja Boy is doing on “First Day of School.”

-Ryan

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