AJ McLean and Kevin Richardson wrote this song with songwriters Mika Guillory and Morgan Taylor Reid. McLean told Rolling Stone that the Backstreet pair penned the song for their children: "Kevin was like, 'Why don't we write something that's about our kids or is a positive reinforcement-type song because there is so much negativity out there and bullying and all this crap that's been going on? The world needs positivity,'" he said. "Not only was it my daughter and his son, but it was all of our kids that were influenced and even other people's kids and just fathers, mothers, people that are the kind of people that encourage you to go out and to show 'em what you're made of, give it your all and the song turned out beyond what I ever expected it to be. It became this huge emotional record."
"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" was the most successful digital track of 2007 in the US with 2,909,000 downloads. On January 6, 2008 it became the first song ever to sell 3 million digital copies in the States.