Soulja Boy says Steve Jobs dropped in on music video shoot to give him an iPhone

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Soulja Boy
"Then Superman that phone..."
Photo: Bandai Namco Entertainment America/Wikipedia CC

Rapper Soulja Boy, best known for his 2007 viral hit “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” has another claim to fame as well: According to the 30-year-old rapper, Steve Jobs visited him on the set of his first music video and brought him the first iPhone.

At least, that’s the story Soulja Boy shared in a clip from an upcoming podcast interview for Million Dollaz Worth of Game. “I was the first rapper with the iPhone,” Soulja Boy says. “It was ‘Crank That’ video shoot 2007. Steve Jobs and the Apple team came. I was in the swimming pool, doing the instructional dance. Showing the people how to do the dance … They came, they brought me the iPhone.”

Just in case you think Soulja Boy is using the name figuratively (as in, “Steve Jobs made me the greatest computer I’ve ever owned”), one of the podcast hosts clarified, “Steve Jobs himself came?” Soulja Boy responds, “Yes, Steve Jobs. And Apple, the whole team. They said, ‘This the first iPhone.'”

True or not?

On the surface, the story sounds kind of bogus. But Soulja Boy isn’t totally making this up. One Twitter user dug up some 2007-era footage of Soulja Boy flossing with an original iPhone on the day of release.

That certainly makes Soulja Boy one of the first people (rappers included) to own an iPhone. But was he the absolute first? Probably not. The “Crank That” video premiered on BET’s 106 & Park on August 9, 2007. That was a couple months after the iPhone went on sale in June 2007. Cult of Mac asked “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” video director Dale Resteghini about the project. Resteghini said, based on his records, the video was shot on July 17, 2007. This would be roughly two weeks after the iPhone went on sale in America.

But Resteghini said he remembers Apple representatives (he didn’t specify whether this included Jobs) showing up in person.

“I can confirm that Apple reps were on set,” the director said. “I don’t know how long they were on set. However, I do clearly recall being informed … that Soulja Boy was going to be 30 minutes late to the final setup of the day, which was [the] master performance in the gymnasium, due to a business meeting.”

A big Apple fan

What does that mean? If I was a betting man, that Apple heard about one of the biggest pop stars of the year promoting its products and met with him. Apple has plenty of celebrity fans, and Soulja Boy was one more. I’d be surprised if Jobs himself visited the set, but stranger things have happened. And, hey, even if the truth and timeline may have been slightly stretched, it’s hard to hate on a rapper who’s clearly a big Apple fan!

With that in mind, here’s a reminder of the “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” music video, which was almost unfathomably popular around the time of the iPhone launch: