Rapper Soulja Boy has apologized to members of the U.S. Army for controversial lyrics included in a new song that soldiers and military officials have found offensive.
In what may be a first for rap music, Soulja Boy has also yanked the troublesome song from an upcoming CD and his management team was reportedly trying to delete copies of the profanity-laced video that were circulating on the web.
A representative for Soulja Boy's management team told celebrity website TMZ Wednesday that the 21-year-old rapper's record label, Interscope Records, has been frantically working to try and scrub the Internet of any copies of the offensive video, titled "Let's Be Real."
In the song, Soulja Boy raps "[expletive] the FBI and the army troops ... fighting for what? Be your own man…"
On Tuesday, the rapper issued an apology on hip-hop website, GlobalGrind, which reads:
As an artist, I let my words get the best of me. Sometimes there are things that we feel, things that we want to express, and when we put them on paper and speak them out loud, they can come out wrong. When I expressed my frustration with the US Army, not only did my words come out wrong, I was wrong to even speak them. So, I write this to give my sincerest apology to all members of the United States military services, as well as their families that were offended by my most recent lyrics.
The rapper went on to comment on what it has been like growing up in the post-9/11 generation and his views on the thousands of deaths of U.S. service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He concluded in the statement:
In no way would I ever want to offend those who are protecting our freedoms ... a lot of homeboys who I grew up with, a lot of people who come from the neighborhoods we live in ... In no way do I want to hurt any of our honorable soldiers who put their lives at risk, regardless of how they feel about the two wars we fight in. I am just frustrated that we haven't been able to bring you all home quick enough and my frustration got the best of me. I am deeply sorry.
The controversy, apparently brewing since the Labor Day weekend, has sparked the ire of service members, some of whom have been very vocal in expressing their chagrin with the troublesome song. Some have called on the rapper to drop "Soulja" from his stage name, while others have called the rapper ignorant and ungrateful.
Officials have also reportedly banned sales of Soulja Boy's album from stores operated by the U.S. military.
According to the representative who spoke with TMZ Wednesday, "Let's Be Real" was never cleared for inclusion on any album, adding that the song will never be available for purchase.
Soulja Boy, whose real name is DeAndre Cortez Way, first gained fame when his "Superman" dance from the 2007 "Crank That" video attracted worldwide attention.