SouljaTrump_edit

Soulja Boy is the Rap Game Donald Trump

Image: Jenny Scales

For the past few weeks, Soulja Boy, a rapper who years ago used to ask girls to kiss him through the phone, had found his way to every corner of my digital existence. I had fallen into a Soulja Boy content wormhole.

On YouTube, I found myself transfixed by his tales of a shooting he committed in self-defense.  On Twitter, I learned Chris Brown and him are from the same hood: Bompton (a dubious point, as they respectively hail from Virginia and Atlanta). On Instagram, I heard that Big Soulja was still good in the hood. “Ain’t that right?” Soulja said before being pushed by someone who clearly thought that he was not, in fact, as “good in the hood“ as he may have thought.

I learned about his favorite gun (the infamous DRACO), the various jewelry he wore, the six million dollar penthouse he most definitely owned and certainly didn’t rent on Airbnb

I didn’t look away and even if I wanted to, there was nowhere to look. It seemed everyone in my sphere of influence was either commenting on him or mocking him, but it didn’t matter.

With each misstep, what remained of Soulja’s reputation seemed to be unraveling, post by post. And yet, even as the collective FOH and SMH meters of the internet redlined, it seemed like he was drawing a larger and larger circle of digital ubiquity.

Everywhere I looked, he was there. Soulja bears an unmistakable resemblance to the soon-to-be leader of the United States of Amerikkka.

Soulja Boy is the rap game Donald Trump. Both of these men spent their entire career in the limelight for creations of dubious quality. Stoking the embers of their fading careers in the nascent age of social media, they picked battles with much more relevant individuals. For Trump, it was the racist conspiracy he pushed surrounding Obama’s birth certificate that kickstarted his political career. And for Soulja, an internet conflict with Lil’ Yachty propelled him into the forefront of the blogosphere’s headlines.

The outcome of these battles is almost irrelevant. There is no winning or losing in this age (at least not in the traditional sense). Trump’s attempt to delegitimize the nation’s first black president should have ended his career, but instead it attracted a whole new fan base, that later would help propel him to the most powerful position in the world. 

There is no line too far to be crossed, there is no embarrassment too great, no lie that cannot be told and then later implausibly denied. These moments of controversy may in turn be impermanent. But these moments have a snowball effect: each new shitstorm creates more and more shitstorms. There are so many moments of disgust, it’s nearly impossible to focus on their most outrageous claims for that day. Meanwhile, Soulja and Donald double down on the crazy, move on, and make sure that those eyeballs keep watching and the commentators continue to comment.

This is how social media was designed to work; it’s an echo chamber. Algorithms set in place ensure that whatever you search for and whatever you spend your time looking at will find its way more often to you. So if you like seeing lavish jewelry, fake asses and starter pack memes, you’re going to find that wherever you look.

Celebrities, politicians and corporations understand the power of these eyeballs, and they use it the way any good, red-blooded American has in the past: to sell shit. Whether its a boxing match against Chris Brown or a United States presidency as Vladimir Putin’s puppet, there’s money to be made and ego’s to be fed.

Soulja and Donald trace the same archetype. The individual is what matters in today’s world. The concept of 15 minutes of fame seems like some oddly quaint trope in the world of Instagram models, alt-right Twitter trolls and sponsored content. And once the individual put their hooks into their audience, there’s no turning away.

They can sell whatever it is they want to sell.

You’re going to have to watch, after all, everyone loves a good train wreck. 

Related Articles

Features
Features

Some of NYC’s Most Notable Graffiti Writers Weigh In On the Elections

News
News

Watch: The Roots Protest Donald Trump on Jimmy Fallon

Features
Features

New Yorkers Are More Afraid of Donald Trump Than Terrorists

News
News

“Blacks Lives Matter” Tagged On Trump’s Brand New D.C. Hotel

Art
Art

Donald Trump Depicted As A Suicidal, Grenade-Wielding Joker On New Billboard

News
News

Robert De Niro Has Some Words for Donald Trump: “I’d Like to Punch Him in the Face”

Ad

Latest News

Tomi Lahren, Wale News

Never Read The Comments: “Wale’s Album Trash and Tammy [Tomi Lahren] Still A Rac...

Wow. Just wow.
Rocaine Music

Listen To Rocaine’s Latest Single “In & Out”

Rocaine comes through with a heavy street banger
Nick catchdubs, fools gold Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Nick Catchdubs of Fool’s Gold

"You don’t have to wait for a wizard to fuckin’ tap you with a wand and say you’re allowed.”
meek-mill-lawsuit News

Meek Mill Listens To Drake’s Diss Track “Back to Back” For “Motivation”

Glowing up
News

Bill Cosby is Reportedly Afraid Someone Might Spike His Drink

Now who would do something like that?
Fat Boys Music

Fat Boys Dropped ‘Fat Boys’ 33 Years Ago Today

"Listen to the fresh sound of the Disco 3"
jasmin sehra, painting, london, bollywood, fine art, rap Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Jasmin Sehra

"I trust this process and the journey the most high has written for me."
Harambe News

Are You Pulling Your Dick Out For Harambe Today?

Please Don't, But Also RIP Harambe
Sofie-Boiler-Room-London Music

Sofie And The Art of the Mix

From Stones Throw to The Boiler Room
News

Meek Mill to YoungBoy Never Broke Again: If You Don’t Move, You’ll Die

The Philly rapper has seen this movie before
Music

Lil Yachty is Pissed That a Grown-Up Didn’t Edit His Lyrics

“I fucked up, I thought Squidward played the cello.”
NWA-daily-op Music

26 Years Ago Today, N.W.A Dropped ‘Efil4zaggin’

No one was spared.
ruth gruca, made la, vfiles Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Ruth Gruca

The girl boss bringing Wiz Khalifa and Opening Ceremony together
Sports

With E-40 as Her Hypeman, Steph Curry’s Wife Freestyles at BottleRock Fest

Cavs in 4
MA-Thumbnail_Andre3000_nologo Music

Happy Birthday, André 3000!

"Made it through another year can't ask for nothing much more."
migos scotty 2 hotty Music

Migos Returns With Ode to WWE Legend Scotty 2 Hotty, “To Hotty”

Scotty 2 Hotty, choppers and shottys