This is the second single from Chris Brown's X album. The song features never-before-heard vocals by the late R&B star Aaliyah, who died at the age of 22 in 2001, after the plane she was traveling in crashed shortly after take-off.
Brown shot the song's music video in Compton, California. He explained the clip's concept at the BET Awards 2013 press conference. "I shot it in the hood," he said. "I went to 60th Street and Cedar Block. [I'm] bringing both worlds together and trying to uplift the poverty side of the community and show them where I'm from. I'm from Virginia, but everybody comes from a broken home or being broke - I remember when I was."
The song finds Brown standing up for the rights of ethnic minorities and gay people. It was released in support of the singer's Unity campaign, which he hopes will inspire others to fight discrimination. "The new single is a part of my 'Unity Campaign'," tweeted Brown, just before its release, "which encourages all races, genders, sexes (everyone) gay or straight to love each other! As a young inspiration to all types of people around the world, I have a moral obligation to let go of grudges or bs."
"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.