Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys offered to sing backing vocals on this track after meeting Mini Mansions member Zach Dawes through his work as a studio musician. "He said he wanted to hear the record my band was working on, so I emailed him some songs," Dawes told NME. "He picked one, sang on it, and wrote some parts for the end of the tune. He's a huge inspiration for us, so it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
Dawes told Rolling Stone about casting Fargo actor Colin Hanks in the song's music clip. "Due to the straightforward nature of [the video], it wasn't about getting somebody famous as much as it was getting someone great," he explained."[Hanks] had caught our set opening for the Arctic Monkeys last year and everybody agreed he would be perfect."
"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.