When it comes to rap music, I’m not a specialist. I like what I like and in the case of rap & hip hop, there’s a lot I don’t like. I’m not into gangsta rap, I don’t like the poser rap and I think as far as most rappers are concerned, they have a little too high opinion of themselves. Not that rappers aren’t talented, obviously they are, but there is far to much bravado in rap for me and a lot of times it gets in the way of what could be a creative form of music.
That being said, along comes B.o.B. With as much charisma & cockiness as you can have for a new artist, B.o.B. is a fresh breath of air. With a confidence & style much like Kanye (without the “assholiness”), Bobby Ray is part pop, part hip hop without the art-house style of Kid Cudi but he’s tapping at the same vein.
Well it was just a dream
just a moment ago
I was up so high,
lookin down at the sky
don’t let me fall
I was shooting for stars, on a Saturday night
they say what goes up, must come down
but don’t let me fall
Opening track “Don’t Let Me Fall” is an interesting choice considering all of the options that he and his producer & mentor (T.I.) had. Showcasing Bobby’s rapping ability and his view of his popularity, “Don’t Let Me Fall” is a high wire act, bouncing between insecurity and confidence, and he realizes that he could be “the next big thing”. It’s a nice touch kicking off with this song because it shows what a unique and thought-provoking artist Bobby Ray really is.
There are a lot of reasons why I really enjoy this album. Hot single “Nothin’ On You” is pure pop goodness, “The Kids” bites a riff from one of my favorite alt-rock bands,Vampire Weekend, and reworks the lyrics. “Magic” SHOULD be his next single based on it’s radio-friendly summer sound. “Bet I” has a “catchy as hell” hook and “Fame” swipes a little from David Bowie in the chorus and talks about the elusiveness & danger of fame. I also like the ballad “Lovelier Than You” and the old-school soul sound of “5th Dimension”, which features my favorite lyrics of all his tracks…
The stars is what I sleep on,
the moon I put my feet on
The way my aura glows you’d swear I’m made of neon,
cooler than the freon that’s in your dodge neon
The say the futures now
to me it hasn’t begun,
stay tuned to me and there will never be a re-run.
The highlight track might be the new single “Airplane”. There are actually 2 versions of this track on the album but it’s the longer version that is my favorite. With Paramore’s Hayley Williams supplying her smooth vocals to the chorus, Bobby gives an autobiographical look at how he came to be a rapper. Then, in a surprise move, Eminem makes an appearance and takes the song to a whole new level. I find it appropriate that Bobby Ray ends his album with Em’s solo rap. Marshall Mathers is obviously someone Bobby looks up too and if it’s Eminem’s success that B.o.B. is looking for, “The Adventures Of Bobby Ray” is a great step in that direction.