Soulja Boy? More like Balloon Boy: Rep denies $55-million birthday jet
Soulja Boy? More like Balloon Boy.
A claim that rapper Soulja Boy bought himself a tricked-out Gulfstream G5 jet as a 21st birthday present has turned out to be just that: a claim -- and a false one, a new voice out of the rapper's camp said Friday.
"The elaborate rumors circulating about Soulja Boy purchasing a jet for his 21st birthday are grossly over exaggerated and are not true," spokesman Greg Miller said in a statement. One source told Reuters that the rapper, real name DeAndre Cortez Way, recently used someone's private jet but had no plans to pick up one of his own.
TMZ said Saturday that its exclusive info about the jet buy earlier this week came via Soulja Boy, his assistant and Shai Storm, a member of the rapper's management team. Storm had not responded to multiple inquiries in the wake of Miller's statement, the website said.
The Balloon Boy saga, which unfolded in Colorado in late 2009, turned out to be a hoax perpetrated by the parents of the boy whose life was said to be in danger as he allegedly floated away in an silvery, experimental, UFO-looking balloon. Fortunately, no flight of Soulja Boy's alleged jet ever took place, the nation was not captivated by televised images and the National Guard was never scrambled in response to the report of custom travertine floors and multiple airborne wet bars.
That said, unlike Soulja Boy, a.k.a. "Is That Guy Still Around?," Balloon Boy and his family didn't have a red carpet, pay-per-view birthday party scheduled for later on the evening of their hoax.
Unlike Falcon Heene, a.k.a. "Balloon Boy," the rapper was not hanging out in a box in the attic, playing with toys and taking a nap.
The truth of the story? "Is That Guy Still Around?" turned 21 on Thursday.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Left photo: Soulja Boy in 2010. Credits: Gus Ruelas / Reuters
Right photo: The landing of Richard Heene's experimental balloon in 2009. Credit: CBS4denver.com / European Pressphoto Agency