After amassing nearly 3 million followers on Twitter, Soulja Boy’s 2011 album, The DeAndre Way, debuted with 13,000 copies sold during its initial week of release. Jokes were made, and Billboard magazine even ran an article entitled, “Why Soulja Boy’s 2.5 Million Twitter Followers Didn’t Make a Hit Album.”
“I think over the next five to ten years, artists are gonna resort to touring, of course,” Soulja Boy told Lee Hawkins in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “But I also think social media is gonna kick in to the next level. With the iPhone, the iPad and everything that’s coming out, there’s gonna be a new invention for the way people consume music.”
At the time he reached national prominence, Soulja Boy was a case study of sorts in how music was consumed. His single “Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)” remains the 14th best-selling digital single of all time, with 4.6 million downloads. And, with over 400 million YouTube views, he helped usher in the era of artists “going viral.”
To date, The DeAndre Way has sales just short of 100,000. The single “Pretty Boy Swag” has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and also made the top 30 list of Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart.
See the full Wall Street Journal interview below: