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Soulja Boy, Sean Kingston, Busta Rhymes, Slim Thug play Wild Splash in Tampa

By the time I got around to watching the YouTube vid for Soulja Boy Tell 'Em's new hit Kiss Me Thru the Phone, I was the 8,433,393th viewing. Not too shabby for a bespectacled Chicago MC who was supposed to be a one-hit wonder.

Last year's ubiquitous bouncer Crank That (Soulja Boy) had everyone hopping and sliding and supersoaking this and that. It was fun, and infectious, but ultimately disposable. Catchy slow-jam confection Kiss Me Thru the Phone, however, tells us that Soulja is savvy enough to stick around longer than a cuppa joe. Not only does Kiss Me have a hot hook, but it's been slyly concocted to be a crazy-popular, and blatantly obvious, ringtone. Ka-ching! It's also one of the reasons why Soulja Boy (a.k.a. DeAndre Ramone Wey) and his white specs will be headlining this Saturday's 98.7's annual Wild Splash show at Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa.

As for the rest of the bill, island-hopper Sean Kingston will sing for those Beautiful Girls, and Houston rap star Slim Thug will be Still Tippin'. (Thug's new album, Boss of All Bosses, comes out Tuesday.) But the most inspired set — if not the weirdest — should be turned in by the Big Bad Wolf of rap, Busta Rhymes. I've been a little down on Busta's later stuff, but his Leaders of the New School output (especially Case of the P.T.A.) and such late-'90s solo surrealities as Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See opened the door for future odd-hoppers and Kanye West. If he's on his game, it's going to be a fun night.

The show starts at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446. Tickets are $14 to $46 plus service fees.

Sean Daly, Times pop music critic

Soulja Boy, Sean Kingston, Busta Rhymes, Slim Thug play Wild Splash in Tampa 03/18/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 4:30am]
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