The most hated-on man in hip-hop explains his move towards lyricism, and gladly gives his foes more ammo.

By Damien Scott; Photography by Zach Wolfe
It’s hard to tell, but Soulja Boy Tell ’Em is focused. Despite dropping an inescapable, wildly popular debut single (you know the one), and silencing a raft of doubters by dropping three top-20 hits, the Atlanta (via Mississippi) rapper/producer still feels the need to prove himself. And it’s easy to see why. Ever since he started cranking and snapping, the 19-year-old has come under fire for being the final sign of the rap apocalypse. But none of that really bothers SBTE—he’s just having fun, enjoying the life his success has afforded him. However, just to prove the haters wrong for the umpteenth time, he plans to showcase how “hip-hop” he can get on his new album, The DeAndre Way. We caught up with Soulja to see why he wants to be more lyrical, how his dating life has improved, and how he chooses his award-show attire.
You’ve said that The DeAndre Way will be the first album you’ll have had complete artistic control over. What does that mean?
Soulja Boy:
You’ve mentioned improving as a lyricist. Are you going to be switching up your style now?
Soulja Boy:Laughsamdo
But you’ve had the commercial success—why do you still feel the need to be more lyrical on this album?
Soulja Boy:
Soulja Boy
You and your S.O.D. Money Gang are pretty tight, but in rap it seems all crews crumble. Does that worry you at all?
Soulja Boy:
What’s going on with you and the ladies? We’ve seen you with a few stunners lately, like Rosa Acosta.
Soulja Boy:Laughs
Your clothing style has also changed as you’ve gotten more successful. What constitutes a Soulja Boy outfit these days?
Soulja Boy:Laughs
It does seem like you’ve toned down the trademarked jewelry, though. 
Soulja Boy:Laughs