Soulja Boy was arrested for possession of a loaded gun following a routine traffic stop in Los Angeles, California. Authorities said the 23-year-old-rapper was a passenger in the vehicle, which was pulled over for running a red light. Officers reportedly found the gun while searching the vehicle and its passengers.
DeAndre Cortez Way was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 28, 1990. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia, with his mother at the age of six. Way said his childhood was difficult, as his family lived in poverty. As an escape, the young man turned to music.
Way said Young Kwon helped him develop his skills:
“He was the one who taught me how to make beats and records; he recorded the first songs I ever did… He taught me what he knew about snap beats in the studio in his house.”
When Way was in 8th grade, he moved to Mississippi with his father. Although the transition was difficult, Way’s father had far more resources than his mother. As reported by Lets Sing It, the budding rapper suddenly gained access to equipment that would eventually launch his career:
“I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have had access to no computer, no internet and no camera to film my dancing. I took the hood to where the money was at. If I didn’t have no money behind it, nobody would’ve ever known about it.”
Under the name Soulja Boy, Way recorded and uploaded his music to SoundClick.com. The songs received high ratings, inspiring the young rapper to create his own website.
In March 2007, he recorded “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” which he eventually posted online. The song, and signature dance, were an instant sensation. Two months later he signed a deal with Interscope Records.
The song eventually made it to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 and led to a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Song. Although Soulja Boy released several albums and mixtapes throughout last six years, “Crank That” remains his biggest success.
Soulja Boy will always be admired for the way he produced his music and promoted it online. However, he is also known for a wide variety of controversies with fellow artists, including Bow Wow, Chief Keef, Fabolous, Hopsin, and Ice-T.
TMZ reports the rapper also had previous run-ins with the law. In 2011, he was arrested on a weapons charge and possession of marijuana. Following his most recent arrest, Soulja Boy was taken to a local jail for booking.
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