Soulja Boy made it as a rapper at age 16, and now he’s trying to make it as a hoverboard pitchman. But BuzzFeed reported last week that things might not be going so well for his brand (called Souljaboard, of course) because it’s been the target of widespread credit-card fraud. That was apparently information that Soulja Boy would have preferred to keep private, though — he started a feud on social media over the weekend with the writer who broke the story.
BuzzFeed reporter Joe Bernstein wrote that Soulja Boy was one of a number of hoverboard sellers who had been burned by fake sales that were later “charged back,” which left the rapper $175,000 in debt to payment-processing company Stripe. It appeared nearly 75 percent of Souljaboard purchases were fraudulent, and he’s not alone — Bernstein found two other hoverboard companies that had been hit with similar levels of fraud.
This wasn’t something the rapper wanted out in the open, and he took special issue with the publication of an email he’d sent to Stripe in an attempt to resolve the problem. Soulja Boy was pissed, and he lashed out at Bernstein on Twitter on Sunday.
Soulja Boy tweeted Bernstein’s cell phone number and the message “call me.” Hundreds of fans apparently did, thinking it was the rapper’s own number. Bernstein told Gawker he had to turn his phone off because of the deluge of calls, texts, and FaceTime requests.
The rapper also sent, and then deleted, a tweet accusing Bernstein of hacking his email. Bernstein insisted to Gawker that he obtained the email messages in his story legally, saying that if he were to hack someone, “it would probably be for a better reason than to write about hoverboard fraud.”
Although he’s stopped tweeting about it, Soulja Boy is still apparently mad about the story.
“We are working the fraud orders out with Stripe. But why is it ok for him to post this info if it’s between me and Stripe?” he asked Gawker.
Both parties agree the reporter texted the hoverboard entrepreneur for comment before the story ran, but the only reply was “How did you get this number?”
Bernstein also said he’d received threats from Soulja Boy’s lawyers before the Twitter commotion ever started. Maybe Soulja Boy should have left this one to the professionals.