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"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" is the debut single by American rapper Soulja Boy Tell'em. It served as the lead single from his debut studio album, souljaboytellem.com (2007) and accompanies the Soulja Boy dance. The song is recognized by its looping steelpan riff. It caused what has been called "the biggest dance fad since the Macarena", with an instructional YouTube video for the dance surpassing 27 million views by early 2008.
"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" spent seven weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 2007, and was the number 21 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007. The song received a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song at the 50th Grammy Awards but lost to Kanye West's song "Good Life". On January 6, 2008, it became the first song ever to sell 3 million digital copies in the US. In 2009 it was named the 23rd most successful song of the 2000s on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade. It had sold 5,080,000 downloads in the US by February 2014.
Outside of the United States, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
In 2016, Chicago drill rapper Rico Recklezz remixed the song after Soulja Boy sent him death threats for supporting Lil Yachty.
Production and release
The song was released in the US on May 2, 2007, and globally on June 27.
Dance and music video
Crank That (Soulja Boy) Dance
Inspired by recent dance crazes that had popularized some rappers from Atlanta, Soulja Boy (DeAndre Way) and his friends invented the dance moves that gave rise to "Crank That": As summarized by The Wall Street Journal, "dancers bounce back on their heels, ripple their hands, crank their wrists like motorcyclists, then lunge into a Superman pose".
The music video (directed by Dale Resteghini) begins in the "ColliPark Residence" with Sincostan Ak Flame and J Fresh imitating the Soulja Boy dance. Mr. Collipark takes a keen interest in the children's movements, leading him to contact Soulja Boy in an attempt to sign him up to "Collipark Records". His instinct is confirmed when he notices a number of people performing the dance, en route to meeting with Soulja Boy.