Soulja Boy is no longer listed as an artist on Interscope's website.
In May 2007, he signed with the label, at 16 years old. By September of that year, his single "Crank That" was multi-platinum and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, his wealth and relationship with Interscope have been as much of a point of discussion surrounding his career as his music. Given the anomolistic nature of his success, there's an underlying perception that, eventually, Soulja Boy has to fall off, burn out, and go broke—but that simply hasn't been the case.
There has, however, been some friction. In December 2011, TMZ reported that he was facing eviction on an Atlanta home. But it's likely that he just forgot to make a few payments. The 22-year-old is still reportedly worth $23 million. What's not so certain is his status with Interscope.
Aside from the fact that he isn't on the roster of their website anymore, he's had a recent history of tension with the record label.
In April 2011, Complex published an interview in which Soulja Boy openly complained about the way Interscope handled the release of his third album, The DeAndre Way, explaining: "I shut down for a week [after my album dropped]. I wasn't talking to the label. The label only shipped like 18,000 copies [of the album]. They only put like 8,000 units in Best Buy. It was crazy."
Subsequent projects have been dogged by delays and other infractions, as well. In November 2011, Soulja said that a new album, Promise, would arrive at "the top of 2012." In October of 2012, he announced a release date of December 18. Neither release date was met.
Soulja Boy's current situation is a far cry from the days of his September 2009 UStream rant, where he dissed former Interscope artist Charles Hamilton for getting dropped. In fact, it appears that the tables may have turned, as Soulja Boy find himself facing similar circumstances. A source at Interscope told Complex: "He doesn't have an open budget here, at all." Soulja Boy, ever the savvy marketer, found a way to spin the scenario when confronted with the question of his label status directly.
Interview by Ernest Baker (@newbornrodeo)
It’s public knowledge that you made a lot of money at a very young age. Years later, people expect you to mess up somehow. If you post a picture with a new car or a new chain, the conversation surrounding it will be that you're "going broke." What’s the reality of your financial situation?
I feel like it ain't nobody’s business, but at the same time, I’m sitting on M’s. You got some rappers, that’s been rapping 10-plus years, they just now getting their first million. My first year I started off, I did my first million dollars when I was 17. Of course that’s going to come with some haters. Look at Perez Hilton, how old he is? 35? 34? Lying about a 17-year-old. Blogging about a 17-year-old with a million dollars. You don’t think he wishes he had a million dollars at 17? But who cares? As long as I’m handling my business, and as long as I know I got M’s stashed up, I feel like I’m in the Matrix. I feel like I got unlimited money. I feel like Rick Ross—I’m going to be rich forever. My hustle is just so immaculate. If I go broke today, and I have zero dollars in the bank account today, I have so much work that I could go do, that I’m going to make it right back.
As long as I’m handling my business, and as long as I know I got M’s stashed up, I feel like I’m in the Matrix. I feel like I got unlimited money.
You boast about big purchases a lot, but do you actively try to save money?
Yeah, man. Look at the ones that came and went before me. Look at all the one-hit wonders and all the people that were hot at one time and ain’t hot no more. You have to learn from that. And at the same time, to be honest: I’m a cheap ass nigga. I’m a millionaire that live with a hood mindset. 'Cause I still feel like I’m in the hood. Once you’ve been broke before, you had no money, you had nothing to eat, you had no car, nobody wanted to give you nothing, once you get rich, you ain’t going to go that broke. You got a lot of niggas that was silver spoon fed, and born rich and born with money, and if they go broke, they’re gonna kill themselves. But I know what it feel like to be broke. I’m not trying to go back there.
Sometimes people look at things like you selling tweets as a sign that there's something wrong.
I just feel like niggas was mad that they didn’t think of that first. Because I made damn near $100,000 when I put that on my website. You know I get like 20-30,000 views a day on the site. I felt like people got mad like "Damn, why ain’t I think of that first? Damn, I coulda did that.’ I didn’t look at it as "Soulja Boy going broke" or "Soulja Boy ain't getting money." It’s like, "Soulja Boy done thought of another way to flip this shit." So they got mad. If they knew they could’ve made $100,000, or any kind of money, they would’ve done it too. So fuck ‘em.
What’s happening next with your music?
Well, I record everyday. I’m in the studio everyday. Next month, you got Lil Wayne's I Am Not A Human Being 2. I made that album, as far as production.
You’re producing on Lil Wayne’s album?
Yeah, I made a couple beats on that album. The paperwork’s already done. I made the album. I’ve been paid for it. It’s going to be dope once that record releases. I got a feature on there, me and Wayne rapping on one song. And then I got a beat on there that I produced, that they paid me for. Then I produced a couple joints for Wiz. After that, I’m looking to drop USA Dre in March 2013.
Is that something that you would release independently or with Interscope?
If I would release it as an album, I probably would take it to Interscope. I probably would package it, and maybe just create the whole album and then sell it. I’d sell it to them. I’ve done stuff like that in the past where I’ve sold music videos to Interscope or I sold singles to Interscope and let them put it out there. So I just gotta see how the flow of things go, how hot I get, how many people tune in. I gotta go with the flow.
My relationship with Interscope right now is like, they're waiting for me to come up with something crazy.
What’s your relationship like with Interscope, as an artist? Because you said you've sold singles to them. Are you technically not on the roster?
My relationship with Interscope right now is like, they're waiting for me to come up with something crazy. They’re waiting for me to come up with a new single. Or—the way I always do it—I come to them and I present a project to them and we do the paperwork. I’m in a position right now where I can go do whatever I want to do. I can go and sell them an album. I could go and sell them a single. Or I could damn near release an album independently and get however much money I want to get off of it. I’m kind of like a young CEO businessman, like when Jay-Z was doing Rocafella. So right now, I’m in a nice position. I just got to play my cards right.
With all that in mind, there are things out there like, "Soulja Boy got dropped from Interscope." Where do you stand on that? Are you on the label? Did you get dropped?
No, it wasn’t nothing like, "Soulja Boy got dropped from Interscope." It was just, my contract was up. The duration of albums that I signed with them, I’ve delivered what I had to deliver. So it’s like, right now, I got the option to go back and re-do my contract and re-do my budget, and re-do all that. Or I could just go with any other label. I got options right now. It wasn’t a thing where, "Oh, Soulja Boy got dropped from the label." It was a thing where, "Oh, Soulja Boy’s contract was up," and which direction do I want to take it to now?