With the release of B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, B.o.B is showing the world that he’s not your everyday Southern rapper.
If you haven’t heard the springtime hit single "Nothin’ On You," you must not have a radio. The song held the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list in April, and Atlanta-based rapper B.o.B., whose given name is Bobby Ray Simmons, is quickly joining the ranks of hip hop’s newest members Drake, Wale and Kid Cudi.
But listen to B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, and you’ll soon hear that this 21-year-old artistis is bringing something fresh to the musical landscape.
“A lot of my sound is a mixture of a lot of different music genres that I listen to, like rock, alternative, even techno and electromusic,” said B.o.B.
Through wide-ranging collaborations with everyone from Eminem, to rock group Paramore’s lead singer Hayley Williams, to Lupe Fiasco and Janelle Monae, B.o.B spends this album taking the listener on a journey through his life and his societal observations.
A true musician to the core, B.o.B plays several instruments, including the guitar and French horn; it’s been his dream since 7th grade to be a major player in the music game. In 2006, B.o.B got his record deal with no mix tapes, just a performance in front of music executives.
“I was just standing there, no microphone, and they’re like, ‘alright, perform,’” he said. “I was performing in front of 15-20 people; I had to sell it to them.”
B.o.B is signed in a joined venture to both Rebel Rock Records andrapper T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records under the Atlantic Records umbrella.
For the past few months B.o.B has been the opening act for Atlantic label mate Lupe Fiasco’s nationwide “Steppin Laser Tour.” As far hisfuture plans, music is just one of many things he hopes to dabble in.
“A night talk show—possibly, maybe I’d do a series, but more so a Broadway show, desperately,” he said.
– Keosha Johnson