In a story titled “The Influencer: A Decade Of Soulja Boy,” Pitchfork.com writer Meaghan Garvey detailed Atlanta, Georgia rapper Soulja Boy’s swift rise to fame and influence.

The story begins with the initial criticism and praise Soulja Boy received at the start of his career, from being bashed by actor/rapper Ice T to Kanye West coming to his defense.

“On his Urban Legend mixtape the following year, then-50-year-old ‘Cop Killer’ provocateur turned ‘Law & Order’ stooge Ice-T noted: ‘Fuck Soulja Boy. Eat a dick. You singlehandedly ruined hip-hop,’” the Pitchfork.com story reads. “He also threatened to punch Soulja in the face…Even Kanye, another guy who leveraged the power of the Internet early on, weighed in on the dust-up on his blog: ‘He came from the hood, made his own beats, made up a new saying, new sound and a new dance with one song… If that ain’t Hip Hop then what is?’”

Soulja Boy’s utilization of the internet at a time when viral fame became more and more common, was also touched on. At one point, Garvey declares that there was a time when the rapper “was the internet.”

“But Soulja wasn’t just facilitated by the Internet—he was the Internet,” Garvey writes. “His was the ultimate representation of a brain that had grown up and found solace online: restless, resourceful, chameleonic, quick-witted, with zero patience for anyone unable to keep up. His digital strategy a decade ago, back when he uploaded his first song in the summer of 2005, is our often frustrating current reality: flood the system, prioritize brand recognition and scalability, don’t sweat the details. Ours is not the age of the virtuoso; it is the age of the hustler, the finesser, the strategist. So while Soulja may not be exceptionally ‘gifted’ in a traditional sense, his unflappable self-possession (often verging on shamelessness) and digital self-actualization requires both working hard and working smart—a very real kind of 21st century genius. And though his reign of influence has faded significantly in the past few years, it’s only because culture finally caught up to him.”

The full “The Influencer: A Decade Of Soulja Boy” story can be read in its entirety at Pitchfork.com.

For additional Soulja Boy coverage, watch the following DX Daily:

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