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Soulja Boy's climb - other than the viral dance videos - came about thanks to his heavy mixtape grind. It meant that by the time he had got onto his third record, which dropped late in 2010, he no longer had to be prepared to deliver a dance routine to assist his singles (even if they accidently came with them too). By 2010, the Chicago-born, Atlanta-based rapper had an empire and was signing rappers all over the place. While many of these signings turned out to be nothing but premature announcements that he was backing new up-and-coming talent, the acts who he had his eye on had an influence in shaping his new music direction. Most evidently, Lil' B sounded like a direct stylistic factor in the album's lead single, "Pretty Boy Swag", which would kick off the promotional run for "The DeAndre Way.
Soulja Boy's got his fair share of bangers on show. From the aforementioned tune to the club-fitting "Speakers Going Hammer", he shows where he's meant to fit into the Hip Hop landscape and affirms where his position in the game is. Even if he's just having fun with it and is imply assisting some heavy production, it's goes to plan. Even when he gets experimental with it and gets on an industrial style for "30 Thousand 100 Million", he's on form. From that perspective, it's a success. He adds to his arsenal of flows here and his versatility (although not perfected) is exhibited through "Fly" and "Grammy", where he's taken out of his usual comfort zone.
Soulja Boy has never been the most able rapper, nor has he been mentioned for being especially creative with his rhymes, but his personality carries him a lot of the way. To those who aren't particularly in-tune with his style, however, "The DeAndre Way" will only extenuate the fact that he can be quite one-dimension. To a seasoned fan of his, "First Day of School" is a massive track - it's an anthem for people who want to remain fresh at all time, but his odd flows and basic lyrics could deter newcomers. However, pure weaknesses return when he decides to appeal to the girls. "Hey Cutie", compared to "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" and "Soulja Girl" sounds too forced to be worthy of attention. Similarly, "Blowing Me Kisses Isn't All That".
"The DeAndre Way", despite its disappointing sales, actually turns out to be one of Soulja Boy's most successful musical accomplishments. Whereas the albums prior to this didn't really have any appeal beyond an audience who were younger than he was, fans of this strain of Hip Hop have become far more accustomed to this style and he's got the ability to reach a wider crowd. For instance, Gucci Mane's following shouldn't have a problem getting with this one too. That said, the one Gangsta Rap track on the album - which even has 50 Cent on it - is one of the weakest elements to "The DeAndre Way" and is one of the main tunes which needs skipping. It's horribly inconsistent, like his other albums, but you can see more potential than on his others.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
3 HEY CUTIE ft. Trey Songz
4 SPEAKERS GOING HAMMER
5 PRETTY BOY SWAG
6 30 THOUSAND 100 MILLION ft. Lil' B & Arab
7 MEAN MUG ft. 50 Cent
8 BLOWING ME KISSES
10 GRAMMY ft Ester Dean
13 DO IT BIG