The artwork to recent FADER cover star Soulja Boy‘s latest effort, The Last Crown is a colorized version of an uncredited nineteenth century wood engraving, commonly known as the Flammarion Engraving, as it first appeared in a book by French astronomer Camille Flammarion. (I just now learned all this by making use of Google’s recently unveiled and very exciting reverse image search.) This artistic choice has triggered two incredibly unlikely occurrences: 1) We learned something from a Soulja Boy record (or at least I did, maybe you were already up on the Boy Boy Flammarion…) 2) We must now ask What Was Soulja Boy Trying To Say Here? as if we were in a graduate English course and he was the great American poet Tupac Shakur. So what do you think class? Is this just Soulja cashing in on Watch The Throne style forced high brow (art galleries are so “swag” with the kids these days) or is Deandre genuinely concerned with “the point where the sky and Earth touch”? Whatever the case it’s a damn shame Dat Piff chose to go with a boring photo of Soulja for their site takeover, instead of Flammarionizing their entire layout.
The tape itself is cool if sadly not quite as special as its art direction. If you’re only going to listen to one track make that track the last track, “The Grind,” which features what might be the most comfortable Soulja has ever sounded while rapping. He was recently Tumblring about how Curren$y is his favorite rapper and Spitta’s influence is clearly rubbing off. Beyond that it’s just the usual mixed bag that we’ve come to expect from a Soulja tape—guest shots from Lil B and French Montana, some throw away Lex Luger fakes, a whole lot of Auto-Tune, a couple beats that’ll make you say DAMN SON WHERE’D YOU FIND THIS? in your best Trap-A-Holics voice, and a constant sense that Soulja is having tons of fun with little to no concern for whether or not his audience is. This is a healthy way to make art when you’re a young millionaire.