Even though the hip-hop of Soulja Boy Tell' Em is not my cup of tea, you really have to admire what the 18-year-old has done in the short time he's been on the scene. Born DeAndre Way, the Atlanta native has helped usher in a new wave of Internet-savvy artists, with his embrace of social marketing and the viral nature of the web. Whether he's putting up another new YouTube video (the video for "Crank That" is the top viewed YouTube clip, at over 300 million views), Twittering through late-night jam sessions, or promoting his MySpace page on radio and television appearances, Soulja Boy has worked the Internet angle like a "playa macking his game."
It's fitting then, that he starts his week appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, as Fallon just won a Webby award for "Person of the Year" for a similar geek embrace. Expect there to be a fair amount of tweets generated (?uestlove included - where's the Tweetup, son?) from the meeting on Monday night. But that's just the start to Soulja Boy's march on the airwaves, as he'll also hit BET's 106 & Park on Wednesday night and then even make an appearance on the season finale of The CW series The Game on Friday*. Of course, all these appearances mean he'll have a lot less time to post another YouTube video. Fans will just have to suffice with him on a much bigger screen.
*Soulja Boy also finds his way onto The View next week (May 25). Lil Wayne last month and now Soulja Boy? Yo mama is getting schooled in new hip-hop.
Elsewhere, two big artists have big expectations to live up to beginning this week. Rapper Eminem has been out of the limelight for five years now, which is an eternity in hype-driven rap. Between the party antics of Asher Roth (on Fallon Thursday,) and the internet-driven shallowness of Soulja Boy, Marshall Mathers is a bespeckled, cardigan-wearing picture of maturity. I for one, hope he schools the youngins (Eminem appears on Kimmel Friday.) Meanwhile, Green Day has the unenviable task of following up the multi-platinum smash that was 2004's American Idiot. Since that album was helped by having an unpopular President, won wonders how 21st Century Breakdown will do in the age of Obama. They'll have this week's SNL season finale to help make their case.
And finally, remember last week we told you about Yusuf Islam having to cancel shows and appearances last week due to visa problems? Well, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens has finally made it over the border and playing his first US show in 33 years Monday night in Los Angeles (El Rey Theatre). He'll follow that with appearances on Leno (Wednesday,) The Colbert Report (Thursday,) and a rescheduled appearance on Fallon (Friday). The visa problems will no doubt make his Colbert appearance that much more meaty.
Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, May 11
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: The Killers
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Soulja Boy Tell' Em, The Roots
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Ben Harper & Relentless7 (REPEAT)
Tuesday, May 12
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Fake Problems
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Lonely Island w/ The Roots
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Cold War Kids
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Lady GaGa
Wednesday, May 13
BET: 106 & Park: Soulja Boy Tell' Em
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Bob Log III
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Yusuf Islam
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Brett Dennen
SUNDANCE: Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...: Elvis Costello, She & Him, Jenny Lewis, Jakob Dylan (REPEAT)
Thursday, May 14
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Airborne Toxic Event
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Rick Ross with Magazeen
COMEDY CENTRAL: The Colbert Report: Yusuf Islam
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Crocodiles
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: The Decemberists
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Asher Roth, The Roots
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Kelly Clarkson
Friday, May 15
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Eminem
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Mastodon
CW: The Game: Soulja Boy Tell' Em
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Kings of Leon
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Yusuf Islam, The Roots
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Friendly Fires
SUNDANCE: The Rock and Roll Kid: Danny Sveinson
Saturday, May 16
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Green Day
PBS: Austin City Limits: My Morning Jacket (REPEAT)