This composition explores the new media/ted impact of a fairly recent product of Black expressive|youth|dance culture the The Soulja Boy, a Hip Hop* dance from the Dirty South, and it’s musical accompaniment, Crank Dat Soulja Boy. The digitized world of YouTube, a.k.a. The People’s Archive, is a beyond popular Internet destination, that will serve as the video database and portal/porthole of choice. This ‘archival’ space is where the cultural products on display are for one to ‘experience’. More importantly, it’s video content is provided by a community of ‘registered users’, who are presumably ‘everyday’ people. Therefore, the selection of archival material is open to more than ‘the few.’ The YouTube portal/porthole creates a means to survey the global dissemination of black cultural products via a real human’s virtually promoted self. A so-called digital native, Soulja Boy, seems to instinctively demonstrate the promise and practicality of Web 2.0 capabilities. On the real to real, he’s bringing an old shuffle (hustle) to a new paradigm. Nonetheless, Crank Dat Soulja Boy’s global sweep typically illustrates how digital online technology and good ol’fashioned Hood ingenuity have 'changed the game.'

Indebted to the Web 2.0 infrastructure, the flourishing phenomenon around Crank Dat Soulja Boy offers an exquisite opportunity to peer into how black cultural ideas, specifically dance, are transmitted across cyber-lines as a mean to an end(s) and a means ‘to make ends.’ A close look at how, and by whom, this information is marketed, promoted, transferred, appropriated, interpreted, re-presented, and mis-represented in the digital landscape is imperative. It is equally vital to consider The Soulja Boy a choreographic project wherein the choreographed dance is produced and presented to be captured, re-captured, duplicated and shared/posted. The results of which are intended to happen in both real and virtual environments. Furthermore, once posted this choreography/movement composition becomes accessible to a global variety of viewers for interpretation. The Soulja Boy dance, stems from an extensive lineage of Black social dance practices, is a non-verbal communication system hosting a myriad of codes and multiple layers of meaning(s). Consequently, what’s also accessible and available for interpretation is the bodily text.

*Quick Note: Hip Hop dance = Black social or vernacular dance.

A variety of assumptions are embedded within the body of this assessment.

1. Posting an online production of the The Soulja Boy dance is an aesthetic act, complete with organized images of Black cultural activity/practices that can be read as staged representations of culturally constructed norms and values.

2. Crank Dat Soulja Boy is one the freshest re-organization of dance moves, movements and social choreographic ideas and Soulja Boy’s playfully calculated media campaign is predictably unprecedented. In addition to The Soulja Boy dance, Soulja Boy (it’s creator), as choreographer and dancer is a worthwhile subject to study how the content of social dance practices presented in this new environment beckons us to re-think/re-shape our notions surrounding web intended terminology like social networks.

3. The Soulja Boy dance isn’t just a new dance trend. It’s more than a move. It’s a movement and a move/meant (moves encompassing meaning beyond the oral/lyrical content) in which the engagement of the body is central.

4. Crank Dat Soulja Boy is a collective expression of self- identity performed by those who attempt to depart from a set of cultural values and social standards. Crank Dat Soulja Boy is inextricably linked to Snap Music. Snap Music, and its complimentary dances, is considered to be a subculture within Hip Hop that’s reflective of it’s southern roots (regional accent). For some, Snap is in conflict with “real” Hip Hop (a collectively constructed and maintained notion designed to protect notions of authenticity that privileges one geographical region over another.)

5. It’s global impact has socio-cultural and ideological significance in a variety of communities, including those that choose to and not to “doooo it”. [One characteristic of the song is the way Soulja Boy peppers it with short not-so-melodic phrases at the end of verse lines. “Doooo it” is one of them. It’s simple. It’s quirky. It’s catchy. It’s supports an over all theme in his message. His move/meant. Do it! So, as you quick click to YouTube and watch the the official video, the original dance video, and/or the instructional video one thing remains unfailing and clear: you are invited to participate/do the damn thing/show and prove (not show and tell)/enter the circle(cipha)/bust a move/shake shoes/get buck/get jook/etc.