This song was written as payback for some teasing that frontman Dave Wyndorf endured. He explained to Kerrang: "I'd hurt my knee, and had time off, so spent it in a dominatrix's apartment in New Orleans. Our record company forwarded me press from Europe and in Germany they called me 'Space Lord'. She saw it and took the piss, saying 'So you think you're the space lord?' I said, 'Someday when I can walk. I'll make you pay for taunting me by writing a song.'"
The line, "Space lord, mother," originally ended with the f-word but was truncated and an echo added to make the song more radio friendly.
The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, was a direct spoof of the clip for rapper Mase's cut "Feel So Good." It was the first visual ever aired on MTV's Total Request Live on September 14, 1998.
The song can be heard playing in the film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.
"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.