Philly rapper AR-Ab’s 2007collaboration with Soulja Boy goes viral on TikTok as he serves 45-year prison sentence

The music of a Philadelphia rapper serving a decades-long prison sentence is seeing a resurgence thanks to a TikTok trend involving a 15-year-old Soulja Boy song.

AR-ab, whose legal name is Abdul Ibrahim West, 39, was featured on the track “Yahhh!” – Soulja Boy’s third single from his 2007 debut album “souljaboytellem.com.”

A slightly sped up version of the song served as the soundtrack to a TikTok video that has been viewed more than 5 million times and received nearly 1 million likes.


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The track was first uploaded onto TikTok under the name “Car Dragon” in February by a user who lined the lyrics up with two images of a dog opening and closing its mouth. It’s unclear how the track got that label, but the pet-centric video quickly gained popularity.

@bebrardii АХХАХАХАХАХАХ Я ХОЧУ ЧТОБЫ ЭТО УВИДЕЛ ВЕСЬ МИР#рекомендации #GoWinterGames #рекомендации #якто #харди #собакаубийца #собака #рекомендации #рек ♬ оригинальный звук – харди и ева

It also led to a challenge in which TikTok users film themselves before and after they look up the phrase “car dragon.” The users often look shocked after looking it up, but it’s not entirely clear what’s causing these reactions. A Google image search mostly shows pictures of dragons and cars, though some are explicit.

It’s also not clear why “Yahhh!” became the backdrop for these trends.

It may be that in a cultural environment oriented toward nostalgia, the song’s main synth riff, which once was panned by a critic for its resemblance to a grating flip phone ringtone, is valued for its strong MySpace vibes.

Regardless, it’s getting West’s music some renewed attention.

“Yahhh!” is undoubtedly West’s biggest claim to fame, reaching No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. But it was nowhere near as big as of Soulja Boy’s first single, “Crank That,” which spent seven weeks atop the chart. West also was featured on two other tracks on Soulja Boy’s first album, “Bapes” and “Pass It to Arab.”

West’s stage name, AR-ab, is meant to be pronounced the way some Americans incorrectly say the word Arab. He embraced his Muslim faith and his Arabic name at a time when many Americans held hostile views toward Islam in the aftermath of 9/11.

The resurgence of “Yahhh!” came less than a year after West was sentenced to 45 years in prison for leading a drug trafficking ring in North Philly.

Prosecutors said West turned his record label, Original Block Hustlaz, into a drug ring that imported large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine from California and sold them in North Philly. The drug ring also was implicated in at least one homicide.

One of the rapper’s label mates, Dark Lo, whose legal name is Charles Salley, was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for threatening a federal witness who helped convict West.

It wasn’t long after his release that West became involved in Meek Mill’s feud with Drake. He sided with the out-of-town pop star over his fellow North Philly native, but West and Meek settled their beef in 2016.

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