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Rapper souljas on and releases improved album

Soulja Boy has shown resiliency in his ability to survive past the cultural phenomenon that was “Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em.” His newest release, “The DeAndre Way,” holds more simple jams that come from the same place.

Soulja Boy has polished his rhymes since “Tell ‘Em,” but nearly every track is a simple ode to either getting money or getting some; In other words, exactly what pop listeners want. It’s noteworthy that Soulja Boy’s music videos make great counterparts to the songs they advertise. Most rappers just pose in front of their expensive things while they sing about their expensive things, but music videos like that for “Speakers Going Hammer,” featuring Soulja Boy partying with his WASP neighbors, lend credibility to the track.

Soulja Boy’s approach to hip-hop is often oversimplified, however. His rhymes are often awkward and sometimes veer into unintelligible laziness (also from “Speakers Going Hammer:” “Speakers going hammer / bammer, bammer, bammer”). “30 Thousand 100 Million” (about money, believe it or not) follows the same trend.

The album’s closing track, “Grammy,” stands out, probably because it strays from the adolescent themes of every other song. It opens with the rapper talking about the troubles he’s overcome, and the song that follows is equally mature. It’s the standout track, but listeners can’t help but laugh when they hear “I deserve a Grammy” coming from the artist who sang the nine previous tracks.

Another unintentional moment of humor comes when Soulja Boy shares lines with 50 Cent. Our protagonist is trying to demonstrate how hardcore he can be on the track “Mean Mug,” but comparing his cotton-padded lines to 50’s quips about busting out the hollow tips is amusing.

Soulja Boy is doing well with the formula he began with. With a few more tracks like “Grammy,” he might become a Soulja Man yet.

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