Watch Me Crank That

“Filipino prisoners doing the Soulja Boy”

 When we all hear the beat, everyone knows what is playing.  When we all see the dance, everyone knows how to do it.  When we all hear the words, everyone knows how to sing it.  What is this mysterious “it” I am referring to? It is the Soulja Boy.

The Soulja Boy is a dance based off the song “Crank That” by the Hip-Hop/Rap artist Soulja Boy.  “Crank That” was the number one hit in the United States during September of 2007, and it was the 21st best song on Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 100 songs list from 2000-2010. Best of all though, the Soulja Boy is mainly remembered by the viral spread of its dance, which has been able to be replicated by millions due to the nation’s appeal to music videos and catchy tunes.

Because so many people worldwide have imitated the “Soulja Boy”, it definitely should be considered one of the world’s best media-related memes.  Its behavioral component, aka the dance, (which is what is catchy about the meme), has been replicated by millions due to its initial simplicity.  However, as time has passed over these last five years, I’m sure we have all have seen some kind of evolution with this simple dance.  The dance has become noticeably shortened, especially by those (like me) with absolutely no sense of rhythm, and by those who simply don’t want to dance for three minutes straight. For example, at Chicago Bears games, Devin Hester, and his teammates on the sidelines, can be shown doing the “Chicago Bears Soulja Boy” in a very unique way before returning punts. They kind of combine all the movements of the dance together into a brief, highlighted version of the dance, which lasts less than a minute.

“Devin Hester doing the Soulja Boy”

Since celebrities, who are constantly being watched by millions of people, have reproduced “The Soulja Boy”, the meme’s interaction with the environment has grown exponentially over the past five years. In addition, because the Soulja Boy stands out on its own, and not with a “mempelex”, the dance has a unique feel, making it more catchy at times.

The fact that so many people can listen to “Crank That”, (and know the beat, the words, and the dance), makes this meme, the Soulja Boy, truly remarkable. It truly is the perfect example of a meme because it can be imitated by virtually anyone of any age.  However, as time has progressed over the past couple years, less and less people have imitated the meme, which has caused the “Soulja Boy” to sort of die out unfortunately.  This is the case for many dancing related memes, since the public views them as slightly boring to imitate after some time.  Although it is somewhat “dead” in today’s society, when played, the “Soulja Boy” still sparks enthusiasm in many people worldwide.

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