Soulja Boy is inspired by Shakespeare.

The ‘Crank That’ rapper claims the English playwright – who died in 1616 and is widely acknowledged as the greatest in Western history – has had a profound effect on his career, in particular a quote from his play ‘Hamlet’.

He told Spin magazine: “The quote, ‘To be or not to be’ represents having no fear in whatever you do in life. It says if you’re going to pursue something you go at it with everything you got.

“When I decide what type of music I’m going to create in the studio, I think about that saying and what I’ll be representing. If I’m going to make music for the streets or the clubs or whatever, I go at it with 110 percent.”

For more contemporary inspiration, the 21-year-old singer looks to Tupac Shakur, one of the most successful rappers of the 90s, who was shot dead in Las Vegas in 1996.

Soulja Boy added: “‘All Eyez On Me’ by Tupac is my favourite album. Tupac was on some other s**t when he made that album.

“He was so far ahead of other rappers. I hope one day I can put out an album that sells 10 million copies. Tupac is incredibly inspiring as a person and musician.”