Soulja Boy Image

There was an important lesson to be learned in Soulja Boy's first excursion into the ripoff console resale market, but it's one that the rapper evidently failed to grasp as he is now peddling a handheld emulator that looks remarkably similar to Sony's PS Vita. To his credit, it does seem that he has at the very least learned to be slightly more discreet in what amounts to publicly announcing himself to be the proprietor of devices preloaded with pirated ROMs.

Because 2018 apparently wasn't quite weird enough by that point, Soulja Boy proudly revealed his new online storefront in early December, which featured the startlingly expensive SouljaGame Classic console and the Game Boy Micro-like SouljaGame Handheld, among other cheap, self-branded gadgets. Touting that each emulator sported massive catalogs of games ripped from several retro home consoles and handhelds (as well as some newer ones, like the PS Vita, 3DS, and Switch), it was an easy assumption that the ROMs the emulators ran weren't legally obtained. So easy, in fact, that the SouljaGame Classic and Handheld were nowhere to be found on Soulja Boy's store after rumors surfaced that Nintendo caught wind of their games's unauthorized presence on the consoles before the year's end.

Related: Guess How Many Game Consoles Soulja Boy Has Sold?

While it appears that Soulja Boy recognizes that angering Nintendo is out of the question, the temptation of easy cash seems too much to resist for the rapper. In a January 12 tweet, Soulja Boy announced that he is back at it with an all-new SouljaGame Handheld. Though they share the same name, this most recent SouljaGame Handheld is a painfully obvious knockoff of the PS Vita, which Sony will fully discontinue in 2019 after a tragically unsuccessful lifespan. Soulja Boy's business model has remained largely unchanged from the first time around: find a manufacturer of a cheap emulator, crank up the price by a sizable margin, slap on the Soulja Boy name, and sell the supposedly original product on the online store. However, this time it seems that the recent run-in with Nintendo's notorious legal team has resonated with Soulja Boy, evidenced by the complete absence of descriptions of what games with which the SouljaBoy Handheld comes preloaded. Instead, the emulator boasts only of its less-than-impressive specs and bizarre applications.

Soulja Boy's announcement of the re-released SouljaGame Handheld comes shortly after online gossip accused the rapper of using crack cocaine, a claim based exclusively on the change of his physical appearance over time. On January 11, Soulja Boy responded to the unverified rumors in a Facebook Live recording (via: Twitter user @phillycustoms), declaring that he has never abused any form of cocaine. He clarified that the reason for the change in his physical appearance is due to the fact that he had recently been in a near-fatal car accident.

Placing those unfounded allegations of narcotics use aside, it's pretty clear that Soulja Boy is not off to a good start in 2019 solely based on his decision to take another whack at the resale of cheap emulators. His original decision to launch his self-branded store was met with little else but harsh criticism. Rather than fade into irrelevance as a musical artist, Soulja Boy is opting to continue to paint a target on his back inviting  public ridicule and legal trouble, and it causes one to wonder just when this absurd saga will end.

More: PlayStation Classic's Sudden Price Drop Perfectly Represents Its Failure

Source: Soulja Boy, @phillycustoms