Soulja Boy spoke with Complex recently about the lackluster reception of his third studio album The Deandre Way and how internal disagreements with Interscope influenced the album's disappointing record sales. The young rapper asserts that the timing of the album was not good. While he wanted to release the effort in July 2010, it dropped in November, over five months after its first and most successful lead single "Pretty Boy Swag" hit the radio.
"Honestly, I shut down for a week [after my album dropped]," He told Complex. "I wasn’t talking to nobody, I wasn’t talking to management, and I wasn’t talking to the label. I wasn’t picking up nobody’s calls. I went like that for a week. I was in a state of confusion. I needed answers…the label only shipped like 18,000 copies [of the album]. So I wasn’t able to do gold first week or even 100k, none of that. They only put like 8,000 units in Best Buy. It was crazy."
He said he felt helpless because communication with Interscope was lacking, and he believed the label failed to listen to him. He claims that his souring relationship with producer and mentor Mr. Collipark (who did no production work on the album) gave him less power to negotiate with record execs.
"When I first started it was Soulja Boy and Collipark. But after my label Stacks On Deck Money Gang Records was established and I started making all these different moves, I started to become a businessman. My label was taking off and I guess I was putting more time and energy into that, then to Collipark. He wasn’t feeling that and it just went left. He wanted me to be all for Collipark. So during the third album, I didn’t have him there to be able to tell the label to ship 500,000 the first week, or put the single on the radio, or we need this song. So I was basically out there by myself, just hoping the label will do the best they can."
" was like, 'You’ve got to keep doing what you’re doing. You’re Soulja Boy, you’re here for a reason. Everybody’s not going platinum. Everybody didn’t do what you did. Everybody didn’t come in on the Internet. You’re the one that started the Internet. You’re the one that got me on the Internet. You’re the one that got us on blogs, on YouTube, and on Twitter.’ I was like, ‘Man, you know what? You’re right.’ He wasn’t doing nothing but speaking true knowledge to my head and it got me right back in the studio. So I ain’t going to never quit. I’m going to stay in this music industry. I’m going to stay making hits, and I’m going to do what I’ve got to do, and I thank 50. I really needed that at that time."
Read the entire interview, including his thoughts on Kat Stacks and Lil B, here.