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Soulja Boy: The DeAndre Way

Collipark

The new album from Soulja Boy, The DeAndre Way, hits you in waves. You first note the lack of gimmicky, aggravating tracks with titles like "Booty Meat." Then you realize the production is actually stellar; gone are the beats Soulja Boy made himself on FruityLoops, replaced by arena-style bangers from Polow da Don ("Grammy") and Drumma Boy ("Mean Mug"). Eventually it dawns on you: This album is actually good, clearly considered and laid out in sequence, rather than quickly thrown together to generate YouTube spins. Persistent Soulja Boy haters probably won't be won over, considering he's got his same slow flow, and is still rapping about his stacks, ladies and expensive toys. But he's learned how to make the most out of his skill set, and his big, voluminous beats give him plenty of room to clown around and show off. Only 20, he clearly has plenty left in the tank. (4 out of 5 stars)