Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em feat. Arab — “Yahhh!”

Released: 12.31.07

Peak: #48

Nothing has undermined my faith in America’s young people quite like the sad fate of “Yahhh!” Soulja Boy selflessly offered our children an interjection — “Yahhh, trick! Yahhh!” — the absurdity of which should have perplexed parents and teachers nationwide throughout 2008. “Yahhh!” is even more fun to blurt than its obvious forerunner, Lil Jon’s “Yeeeah!,” and it’s easier too. Aging rappers, uptight bloggers, and unrepentant rockists should have been stamping their collective virtual feet in collective virtual outrage. Seriously, kids, why did this not become a thing?

An even worthier “Crank That” follow-up than the make-believe ballad “Soulja Girl,” “Yahhh!” is also a brilliantly succinct and ridiculous complaint about fame. Ludacris’ “Get Back,” to choose just one similarly themed comparison, was too hung up on venting an adult’s frustrations with the inconveniences of celebrity to be much fun. But Soulja Boy was young enough to realize that the upside of people always getting in your face is that you get to take pleasure in blurting “Get out my face!” at those autograph hunters, ugly girls, and doo-doo-head dummies. (Though I do think he takes it a step too far when he freaks out on the “king” of his fan club.)

An artist’s ability to uncork a “Yahhh!” has as much to do with temperament as with age. So a sourpuss like Drake would never think to yelp “Yahhh, trick! Yahhh!”; instead, his uptight debut felt as chronologically appropriate as the Beatles filming Let It Be would have at the height of Beatlemania. Soulja Boy never confuses self-esteem with self-seriousness, or ceases to find his own fame hilarious. As a bonus joke, the “Yahhh!” video tacks on the Rich Boy parody “Report Card”: getting all Fs in school, Soulja Boy tosses the grades back on the teacher’s desk and chants, “Throw some Ds on that.” And as a last message to his fans, he somberly concludes, “Listen to Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em — Stay in school” —  then breaks into an A++ grin.

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  • Paul Schierbecker  On September 9, 2014 at 11:59 am

    “Knock, knock”
    “Who’s there?”
    “Soulja Boy”

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