Soulja Boy Tell Em


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Short on new ideas and lacking in cohesion, Soulja Boy Tell Em's second official full-length finds the young upstart trying way too hard to re-create the bazillion selling "Crank That" and repeatedly coming up short. The mindless "Bird Walk" is the most obvious attempt, combining the same Southern-styled production, the same shouts of "Youuuuuu!," and the same silly dance instructions. Problem is, it comes with a much less infectious hook and no ridiculous "Why me crank that Robocop?"-type lyrics to savor. "Botty Got Swag (Donk, Pt. 2)" and "Wit My Yums On" are more of the same but it's the truly maddening "Hey You There" and its taunting of the "big fat police dude" at the mall that really takes the cake, with lyrics and melody that are juvenile beyond belief. Going in the completely opposite direction, "Shoppin' Spree" kicks off with G-Unit-styled gun shots before going completely gangsta with Gucci Mane and Yo Gotti flexing and posing. This unbelievable attempt to go hard will only sound vicious to the pre-teen set, and the inclusion of Gucci and Gotti suggests some crossover hopes and desire for hardcore rap acceptance, as if Soulja Boy could flip his squeaky-clean, daytime-television-appearing image with one rickety track. Parents stuck with a die-hard fan in the home can at least tolerate the free-form "Eazy," which gets fairly clever with the nonsense, plus the puppy-love swooner "Kiss Me Thru the Phone," which shows some improvement over the previous album's cavity-inducing ballad "Soulja Girl."

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