Release Date: Apr 27, 2010
Record label: Atlantic
When asked about his collaboration with pop-punk vocalist Hayley Williams, Atlanta-based alternative hip-hop artist B.o.B responded “Paramore is the sh*t,” instantly driving away the hip-hop purists. He went on to declare that the audience for Williams’ band was the same audience for Lupe Fiasco, Common, and himself. That’s the rapper/producer/songwriter’s attitude in a nutshell, and it’s also the genre-free, music-loving, and even starry-eyed attitude of his debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, a reference to the B.o.B’s real name, Bobby Ray Simmons.
P.O.S. :: Chill, dummyDoomtree RecordsAuthor: Patrick TaylorI've been a fan of Stefon "P.O.S." Alexander since his debut nearly 10 years ago. On "Audition" and 2009's "Never Better," he proved himself to be one of the few artists who could successfully meld punk rock and hip-hop. Fellow Minnesotans ….
B.o.B, the rapper behind recent smash ”Nothin’ on You,” wants to be a rock star. In between his debut’s nimble verses, he covers Vampire Weekend, collaborates with the singers from Weezer and Paramore, and plays arena-ready guitar. On B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray when the combination of styles works, he hits a sweet spot that’s sure to advance his crossover career.
B.o.B began griping about the trials of fame long before he had any. "They say that I'm changing/ Cuz I'm gettin famous," went the chorus to 2008's "Fuck You", a bluesy lope of acoustic guitar and twangy harmonica that recalled vintage Dungeon Family. The logic was counterintuitive, even a little ridiculous, but the song itself was warm, fluid, and surprising.
"Back then I was rapping for the hell of it/ Right now I'm rapping to stay relevant." So says B.o.B on Aeroplanes, outlining precisely the problem with his debut album. A protege of T.I. and beneficiary of internet hype thanks to a series of smart, humorous mixtapes, Bobby Ray Simmons Jr now finds himself fronting a ruthless conspiracy to seize the wallets of teenage America.
The title of B.o.B.’s debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, is at least an exaggeration, if not an outright misnomer. Perhaps a callback to Slick Rick, the title seems out of place on a record where nothing exciting or adventurous is recounted and only a narrow patch of thematic ground is covered. B.o.B. largely sticks to three subjects: that fame is alienating, that anonymity was alienating, and how all other girls are inferior to his girl.
Appealing debut from one of 2010’s breakout stars, already a US number one. Mike Diver 2010 While it’s not uncommon for albums to move back in the release schedules, to guarantee either coverage in a quiet week or a critical blackout, it is rare for a long-player to be pushed forward (leaks aside). But The Adventures of Bobby Ray is such a record, a collection that arrived sooner than expected in the US to take advantage of the success of number one single Nothin’ on You.