Soulja Boy is the stage name of DeAndre Cortez Way, a Grammy-nominated rapper who topped the American pop charts with his club-friendly hip-hop debut, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)," while still a teenager. Born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 28, 1990, DeAndre Way moved several times as a child, spending time in Atlanta, Georgia, and Batesville, Mississippi. Those diverse locations helped inspire his unique form of southern rap, and he began releasing his own songs on social media websites while attending high school. In 2007, Soulja Boy issued his first independent release, Unsigned and Still Major: Da Album Before Da Album, which was led by the track "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" and an accompanying dance. "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" won Soulja Boy a deal with Interscope Records, who reissued the song that spring as the lead single from Soulja Boy's major-label debut, Souljaboytellem.com. The album reached Number 4 on the Billboard 200, taking rap in a catchy new direction that wasn't universally approved of by the hip hop community. Nevertheless, Soulja Boy's music was a hit, with "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" topping the Billboard Hot 100 and earning a Grammy nomination. His 2008 follow-up, iSouljaBoyTellem, included the singles "Bird Walk," "Kiss Me Thru The Phone," and "Samme." Hip-hop heavyweights like 50 Cent and Trey Songz joined Soulja Boy on his third Interscope release, The DeAndre Way, which arrived in late 2010 and featured the Number 5 rap hit "Pretty Boy Swag." As the decade progressed, Soulja Boy reclaimed his independence and began releasing material on his own label, Stands on Deck Entertainment. 2015's Loyalty and 2018's Best to Ever Do It were both issued by the label, along with an ongoing string of EPs, mix tapes, and non-album singles.