shallow analysis

Construx Shallow Analysis: Souja Boy - Crank That

7:00:00 AMPaul Clemente





[Chorus]Soulja Boy Off In This HoeWatch Me Crank ItWatch Me RollWatch Me Crank Dat Soulja BoyThen Super Man Dat Hoe

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Paul: What alot of people fail to realize about this song is that it has significant historical value. Crank Dat is an homage to Edwin James III and his historical journey driving his Model T car across America.
When the line "Souja Boy Off In This Hoe" its referencing Edwin's decision to leave the family farm behind and quench is insatiable thirst for exploration. So he cranks up his car (which was the traditional method in those days) and watches it roll down the street.

Edwin James III (above) "rolling".
The neighbor hood children were fascinated by Edwin's Model T as he was the only one in town to own a car. Every time Edwin could start the mechanical contraption it would always draw a crowd.
The term "super man dat hoe" was a term used back in the 20's to say that you were leaving your farming duties to capable hands while you were away. In this case he hired a young man Shamus McFinn (age 12) to handle the day to day operations of the James farm who was widely considered the most experienced help available at the time.


Ryan: This song was actually an advertisement. There is an old secret that Souja Boy came across while writing "hit" albums. This old secret is called "Dat Superman". This secret allows anyone who knows it to turn another person into a "Superman"

When I first heard about this I decided right away that I needed these powers. I contacted Mr. Souja's peeps and we made it happen.

The word "hoe" isn't supposed to sound that way. I mean it is, but not by a definition you are used to. This is actually a chant used when he is "converting" a client. Hoe is a word used for normal people. He takes the person into a special room (I am not allowed to disclose the location to hoes) where he cranks them into superman. Crank in this case means "The Superman Cry" which is basically a chant.

Ian:  The subtext here is often misconstrued but quite clear.  It's fairly uncommon knowledge that Mr. Tellum was a gifted student who spent a lot of his free time studying Kant, Spinoza, and most relevant for today's context, Nietzsche. While the concept of this essay over phat beats is dismissed as mere childishness, a smear campaign of sorts, the misunderstanding comes through literal misinterpretation. A student of the classics, Soulja taught himself German at a very young age. From there, not unlike Falco, he experimented with linguistic hybrids, some sort of universalized message.

So, the proper reading of the opening salvo of this metaphysical manifesto is as follows:
Soulja Boy has seen hell.
I know the devil's scheme.
It continues cyclically
I stumble through this devilish plot
A Superman in Hell.
Soulja is observing the role that the classic Nietzschean Superman plays on this earth. While he's considered beyond the traditional bonds of common man, this world for him is a menial hell on earth in which his mental fortitude and superiority will only cause him to become a consistent outcast (not these guys... that, of course, is a different post)

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Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
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Paul: They chorus was a chant the children used while watching Edwin wind up his car for a trip to the General Grocery Store. He would goad the children with "now watch me do" and the children would shriek "Crank Dat, Souja Boy!" It's literal translation is a product of the sub-par education in the area. The second reference to Soulja Boy that is used is a testament to their admiration of Edwin following his dreams.


Crank Dat!

Ryan: As the ceremony continues, he continues to chant these words. The effects and the timing are important in this song. They can be said by anyone, but when in the presence of Mr. Souja, they are powerful! They have the power to take any "hoe" and turn them into something else... Something super.

Ian: This is a transcendental meditation technique experimentally employed by some of the keenest, imploding minds of the late 19th century.  Roughly, one is instructed here to imagine oneself on the sea, over the sea, to escape. We all know how that worked out for Freddie N.
 Soulja Boy Off In This HoeWatch Me Crank ItWatch Me RollWatch Me Crank Dat Soulja BoyThen Super Man Dat Hoe

Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
[Verse 1:]Soulja Boy Off In This HoeWatch Me Lean And Watch Me RockSuper Man Dat HoeThen Watch Me Crank Dat RobocopSuper Fresh, Now Watch Me JockJocking On Them Haterz ManWhen I Do Dat Soulja BoyI Lean To The Left And Crank Dat Dance(Now You)
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Paul: So this verse is about Edwin leaving the farm behind, his struggle to start his car, and making sure his farm was in capable hands. Now the Robocop reference is not the 1987 classic we have grown to know and love. In the 1920's Robocops were also known as early prototypes of traffic signals which, inefficiently, were powered by hand crank.

Robocop 1927
At the end of this verse the term "jocking" is used several times. Jocking is a term used back then to describe you riding in a car. For example, when you would drive to the Apothecary for some Lintament Oil you would say, "I'll be back in two Tom Rodgers! Jocking down to the wooden dickey." Again a true testament to Soulja Boy's commitment to accuracy and his love to history.
Ryan: A continuation of the chant... This part is not actually used in the ceremony  though was used in the song with the hope of gathering a larger audience. Like me, not everyone wants to be Superman... I needed more before I decided to not only change my life, but to decide that I was ready to "change life!" Obviously what I am saying is that the Robocop reference made me decide I should do this. Robocop is SICK!!  Ian:  The dialect here is a bit hard to follow, but here's the generally accepted formulation.  Soulja Boy, by way of writing this, is traversing his inner hell, at constant odds with his life, his physical body.  His skin squeezes him tightly, trapping his spiritual form (the Soul in Soulja Boy)--here's a quick detour: for those who aren't familiar with the artist's roots, his name Soul ja is intended as a life affirming quip "Say yes to the soul!", not unlike Pepsi meaning "Pep? Yes!"    Now in the second half of this argument, we find SJBT exclaiming, super fresh, watch me jock.  What he's stating, firmly and without question, is this:  You think you're super smart?  You'll only waddle under the yoke.  Of course, this is a colloquial translation, but it serves the purpose here.  He goes on to say that you are trapped in the yoke of your very own recognition of your superiority.  The body isn't thankful for the mind's attempts to overthrow it.  ________________________________
I'm Jocking On Yo xxxxx AssAnd If We Get The FightinThen I'm Cocking On Your BitchYou Catch Me At Yo Local PartyYes I Crank It EverydayHaterz Get Mad Cuz"I Got Me Some Bathin Apes"________________________________


Paul: I can't tell you how delightful this verse was to read. As we all know Edwin James' journey although highly ambitious was poorly planned. Edwin ran out of petrol about 3 miles out of town and had to take a mule back into town for more.

The next few lines recall his encounter at a store to where he was in a verbal altercation with the shop keep over the value of a dinner hen. There was a celebratory party planned for Edwin's safe return and he wanted  a gift to bring. He was negotiating a lower price by pleading with the shop keep that he has to "crank it everyday" to make it to his store. 

Edwin left without a dinner hen but with a "bathing ape" which is an antiquated term for a monkey that assists you in the shower.


Ryan: This looks dirty.. but it is not. He just wanted to use shock value to intimidate haters. I am not allowed to speak further on this due to my "Superman" obligations.

Ian:  Translation: I'm just a tethered branch.  The more I grow outward, the more I feel restrained.  My bones boil in this thankless, bitter world.  A game of cat and mouse in the toilet. Everyday brings the same scheme. My self-possession and acknowledgement of my intellect makes me my own beloved servant-girl.  I got me some bathin apes.
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[Chorus]Soulja Boy Off In This HoeWatch Me Crank ItWatch Me RollWatch Me Crank Dat Soulja BoyThen Super Man Dat Hoe

Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
Soulja Boy Off In This HoeWatch Me Crank ItWatch Me RollWatch Me Crank Dat Soulja BoyThen Super Man Dat Hoe

Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
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[Verse 2:]I'm Bouncin On My ToeWatch Me Super Soak Dat HoeI'ma Pass It To ArabThen He Gon Pass It To The Low (Low)Haterz Wanna Be MeSoulja Boy, I'm The ManThey Be Lookin At My NeckSayin Its The Rubberband Man (Man)Watch Me Do It (Watch Me Do It)
Paul: This whole verse is set back on the James's farm. This is through the POV of Shamus McFinn, the young man left in charge while Edwin is busy jocking his car across America.

Shamus is dancing in the fields (bouncing on his toe) and watering the spring harvest. He and his other brothers Arab and the mentally handicapped little brother (known back then as Lows) are working hard on the farm delegating duties to ensure a successful harvest for Edwin's return.

He references Haterz in the next line, which was the Haterz family who lived two houses down from the James farm. Thomas Haterz wasn't considered for the farming job due to his dependency on opiates.

Thomas Haterz passing time, waiting for work.

Ryan: This is the final part of the ceremony. It is sung by Mr. Souja as he stands on a box of expensive electronics that he purchased with his mad bank that he collected from being so successful as a rapper. As this part is sung, you slowly start to convert. You become more than an average hoe.. You become.. 


Sadly I didn't use these powers for the same reason as Superman...   Ian: What I want to focus on here is the invocation of the Rubberband Man concept.  Coming to the conclusion that the life of academic pursuit is not only fruitless but actually harmful to one's existence in the physical realm, Soulja began investigating the potentiality of extremity.  In his early experiments, he would allow himself bouts of intense mental exercise, demanding and exacting, followed by periods of extreme mental listlessness, forced distraction and constant masturbation.  He hypothesized that the human mind can be increasingly accessed and employed if treated as the muscle it is and not an intangible concept like the mind, thus increasing its utility and its benefit to the working body, creating a complete human, where mind and body assist each other in harmonious gestalt.
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Dance (Dance)Let Get To It (Let Get To It)Nope, You Can't Do It Like MeHoe, So Don't Do It Like MeFolk, I See You Tryna Do It Like MeMan That xxxx Was Ugly
[Chorus]Soulja Boy Off In This HoeWatch Me Crank ItWatch Me RollWatch Me Crank Dat Soulja BoyThen Super Man Dat Hoe

Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
Soulja Boy Off In This HoeWatch Me Crank ItWatch Me RollWatch Me Crank Dat Soulja BoyThen Super Man Dat HoeNow Watch Me Do

(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)Now Watch Me Do(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)

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