DeAndre Cortez Way, popularly known as Soulja Boy, is an American music artist, producer, actor, and entrepreneur.
He rose to fame in 2007 with the release of his debut single titled “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” which peaked at the 1st spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Rolling Stone magazine included the song in its list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007, ranking it in the 21st spot.
Soulja Boy is one of the first rappers to leverage the use of the internet and social media platforms to promote his music. His single cemented its #1 spot on the Billboard charts for seven consecutive weeks. His success after the release of his debut single won him a record deal at Interscope Records.
Soulja Boy’s net worth value is estimated to be around $33 million. Keep reading this article to find out more about his biography, career, lifestyle, music, family, net worth, and more.
ALSO READ: Lil Pump Net Worth
|Full Name||DeAndre Cortez Way|
|Popular Name||Soulja Boy|
|Date of Birth||July 28, 1990|
|Age||33 Years Old (2023)|
|Place of Birth||Chicago, Illinois|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight||65 kg (143 lbs)|
|Education||South Panola High School|
|Occupation||Rapper, Actor, Songwriter, Record Producer, Entrepreneur|
|Siblings||Tracy Jr, John, and Deion Jenkins|
|Net Worth||$33 million|
Early Life and Biography
DeAndre Cortez Way was born on the 28th of July 1990 to the family of Tracy and Lisa Way. Although he was born in the city of Chicago, Illinois his family relocated severally. When he was 6 years old, his family relocated to Atlanta, and at 14, he moved to Batesville, Mississippi.
Soulja Boy completed high school education at Soul Panola High School. His siblings are Tracy Jr, John Way, and Deion Jenkins, who died in an auto crash in March 2011.
Growing up, Draco was interested in rap music. His father who recognized his interest in hip-hop built a recording studio in their house to help him work on his passion.
Draco began working on different songs and this led him to create accounts on internet platforms like MySpace, SoundClick, and YouTube to upload his tracks.
At the age of 18, he had an entrepreneurial mindset, working as an entertainer, rapper, and record producer. His ability to make music and write catchy hooks on songs made him high in demand.
In 2004, Soulja Boy launched his record label Stacks on Deck Money Gang (SODMG) and went on to sign various artists, including Lil 100 and 24hrs.
Soulja Boy released his debut single “Crank That” in March 2007. The song was a huge success, selling over 3 million digital copies.
He also released his debut album, “Unsigned and Still Major: Da Album Before da Album” as an independent artist. Later, he made a low-budget video shoot for his debut single “Crank That.”
By May 2007, Soulja Boy had enjoyed heavy rotation and airplay on radio stations. His overnight success and popularity made him the interest of several record labels. He signed a contract with Interscope Records and received a Grammy nomination courtesy of his debut single.
By September 2007, his debut single reached the number #1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for seven consecutive weeks.
The next month, he released his first album dubbed “Souljaboytellem.com” as an Interscope artist. The album reached the #4th spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 and received a Platinum certification from the RIAA.
A year and some months later, he released another album “¡SouljaBoyTellem,” which featured hit songs such as “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” and “Turn My Swag.”
Soulja Boy’s third studio album “The DeAndre Way” was released in 2010. He joined Universal Music Group as a music artist in 2014. In 2015, another album titled “Loyalty” was released.
Over the years, Soulja Boy has released more albums and mixtapes. His fifth music album “How Can You Blame Me?” came out in 2019. He has written, recorded, and released songs around specific people and topics such as “Bitcoin,” “Pandemic,” and “Stephen Curry.” Also, he has collaborated with several music artists such as Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo, Arab, and Sammie.
Moreover, Soulja Boy has made cameo appearances in movies and TV shows such as Late Night with Jimmy Falon, Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, My Super Sweet 16, The Bachelorette, Officer Down, and many more. He also starred in “Soulja Boy: The Movie,” a film that tells the story of his life and career.
In 2021, Draco got signed to Virgin Music. Some of his top songs are:
- She Make It Clap.
- Turn My Swag On.
- Kiss Me Thru the Phone.
- Pretty Boy Swag.
- Blowing Me Kisses.
- Soulja Boy’s Squid Game.
Controversies and Legal Issues
In June 2008, rapper Ice-T expressed his anger at Draco on DJ Cisco’s Urban Legend mixtape. In the track, he told Draco to “eat a dick” and criticized him for the death of hip-hop.
He also called his debut song “Crank That” garbage compared to tracks of other legendary hip-hop artists such as Rakim, Ice Cube, Das EFX, and Big Daddy Kane. Consequently, Draco and Ice-T had a war of words on the internet. However, Kanye West came to the defense of Draco by arguing that he had created a new pattern and way for hip-hop. The Ice-T and Way feud was parodied in one of the 2010 episodes of The Boondocks.
On December 30, 2008, Soulja Boy was involved in a robbery incident. On that fateful date, the rapper was attacked and beaten. To add to that, he was beaten. The first report from the scene claimed there were six masked robbers who had AK-47s. The next day, a video clip featuring two masked men who claimed responsibility for the crime went viral on the internet.
In January 2019, Draco explained his ordeal to MTV News. According to Way, he returned home late at night from an album release party he attended and was recording some tracks with friends when the robbers barged into his home, pointing their guns at him. He also claimed the robbers kicked the door open and pointed an AK-47 at the head of one of his friends. firearms pointed at him,
In February 2009, Soulja Boy challenged rapper Bow Wow to a race with their luxurious sports cars. Both Soulja Boy and Bow Wow drove Lamborghinis at the time. Soulja Boy controversially claimed Bow Wow’s car was rented and Bow Wow clapped back with claims proving the vehicle was actually his. This caused a feud between both artists on social and within days, they released diss tracks to each other.
Soulja Boy recorded the track “F*ck Bow Wow,” which was a diss to Bow Wow and in reply, Bow Wow released the song “What I Think About You.”
Eventually, Bow Wow and Soulja Boy settled their differences. In 2016, both rappers released a collaborative mixtape project entitled “Ignorant Shit.”
On October 7, 2009, Draco was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia on one count of a misdemeanor, obstruction, and absconding from the police after he was ordered to stop filming a video in an abandoned house. However, he was later released on a $550 bond.
Way lost his youngest brother Deion Jenkins in a ghastly car accident on March 22, 2011. In April 2013, he sent several death threats to rapper Chief Keef on Facebook. He posted Chief Keef’s personal phone number on Facebook for fans to call him and let him know that Soulja Boy would be visiting him with a gun.
Soulja Boy continued posting and cyberbullying Chief Keef on the internet. On the other hand, Keef told him he was in London. Soulja Boy claimed his social media handles and email accounts were hacked and denied sending any of those messages. However, both artists have settled their differences and seem to have moved on from the feud.
Over the course of his career, Soulja Boy has been linked with several women, whom he dated. He has dated the likes of India Love, Keri Hilson, Diamond, Lil Mama, Teyana Taylor, Brittish Williams, and adult model Rubi Rose. He was engaged to two different women, Nia Riley and Rosa Acosta, at a point in time.
His longest relationship was with Nia Riley. The relationship lasted close to a decade but ended in 2019. Since then, the rapper hasn’t disclosed any new relationships with anyone.
Soulja Boy is in a relationship with Jackie, a cosmetologist and hairstylist but has kept the relationship on a low profile. He stunned his fans in March 2022 when he revealed they would be expecting a baby boy.
The rapper had all his facial tattoos removed to enable him to feature in roles in movies and TV, as he didn’t want to take the roles of a criminal, gangster, or drug dealer in films. He got his first face tattoo at the age of 16 but this didn’t go down well with his mother.
Soulja Boy owns an expensive property in Agoura Hills, California on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Prior to acquiring the home, he owned a house in McDonough, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.
He also owns an expensive collection of cars, including the likes of Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini.
Soulja Boy Net Worth
Soulja Boy is a rich and successful rapper with an estimated net worth of $33 million. He earns from various sources, including acting, music, TV, and other entrepreneurial ventures.
In 2008, he released the S.O.D clothing line for his label Stacks on Deck Money Gang. The official website of the record company still sells merch to date. Additionally, he has released multiple clothing lines such as BLVD Supply and Ocean Gang.
In 2012, Soulja Boy made over $7 million, making him one of the highest-paid rappers at the time. In 2016, Forbes revealed the rapper had signed a deal with World Poker Fund Holdings. Later, Soulja Boy made a claim on Twitter that the deal was over $400 million.
Soulja Boy also owns a soap company. In 2020, he invested in a Mississippi-based company known as The Soap Shop with his manager Money Mike. The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the sales and revenue of the company as there were increased concerns about sterility and virus spread.
The Soap Shop Company went from selling 100 bottles of cleaning products monthly to selling over 3,000 bottles within two months.
In 2021, he joined the NFT bandwagon and made some money. The same year, he released his own branded video game consoles. However, this move boomeranged as he was accused of attempting to sell cheap rebranded Chinese game consoles.
In July 2021, Soulja Boy launched his cannabis brand called Soulja Exotics. The company launched a line of medicinal-quality marijuana in conjunction with Grizzly Peak.
Soulja Boy has been active in the acting and music industry for over 15 years. He is one of the first set of artists to leverage the internet for growth.
Soulja Boy claimed to be the first rapper to use YouTube. While YouTube was launched on February 14, 2005, the rapper uploaded his first rap video on the platform in March 2006. His entrepreneurial acumen contributed to his skyrocketing net worth.