PREVIEW: VISIT B.o.B.’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts
Bobby Ray, better known by his moniker B.o.B., finally released his first studio album after almost three years of anticipation. The Adventures of Bobby Ray is an introduction to the life and diverse musical style of B.o.B. With this debut, Bobby Ray ushers in the new wave of hip-hop by pulling from various musical genres. Since 2007, B.o.B. has been working with a variety of big names including Hayley Williams, T.I. and Lupe Fiasco. Such an impressive guest list demonstrates Bobby Ray’s ambitious strive towards being more than just another Atlanta rapper.
After six mix-tapes worth of dabbling, Adventures shows B.o.B.’s take on synthesizing rock and pop styles with traditional hip-hop. The album’s first single, “Nothin’ on You,” features Bruno Mars and yields perhaps the most Top 40 appeal of any track on the album. Adventures’ rock influence comes from collaborations with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and Paramore’s Hayley Williams. Williams makes two appearances on Adventures on “Airplanes” and the track’s sequel. Eminem joins in on “Airplanes Pt. 2,” creating a peculiarly effective synergy between rock and rap.
“Magic” best exemplifies B.O.B.’s sense of innovation in terms of giving rap-rock a new wrinkle that retains accessibility. While such collaborations do not always satisfy past the point of their novelty, (Lil’ Wayne and Weezer’s “Can’t Stop Partying”), B.o.B.’s willingness to take chances on his debut album shows that Bobby Ray is looking for longevity. Other collaborations with T.I. (“Bet I”), Lupe Fiasco (“Pass My Shades”) and Janelle Monae (“The Kids”) prove that B.o.B. has already established clout in the music industry.
Adventures tackles topics from pollution (“The Kids”) to superficiality in Hollywood (“Fame”) all while intimately getting to know Bobby Ray. B.o.B. confirms that, though he might be reppin’ the ATL, he is not looking to be classified among the likes of Big Boi and Andre 3000. His debut certainly surpasses its long-standing hype with an early release that’s well worth it’s merit.
-Dana Rose Falcone