Dive Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars
The many names of B.o.B. aren’t the only thing confusing about the MC. Is it Bobby Ray? B.o.B.? A.K.A.?
Identity crisis aside, B.o.B has been dropping some of the most significant contributions to hip-hop as of late. The Atlanta product bypasses his peers’ penchant for minimal production and layers his compositions with horns and guitar, adding something organic and vibrant in an age of Pro Tools.
Tracks such as “Champion,” which ESPN used as its theme for Bowl Week, are reminiscent of another ATL icon, trendsetter and oft-compared-to André 3000.
B.o.B. produces the kind of music that appeals to both “backpackers” and “street”-prone audiences alike.
Bob can hold his lyrical weight against J.Cole over a cynical Alchemist beat on a song such as “Gladiators,” then switch to the self-strummed, coffee-shop-friendly “Out of Time” on the next song.
“Don’t Feel So Good” best captures both of these sides on one cut. Beginning with a singing B.o.B. and his guitar, the song digresses into bars of his rhymes that contrasts with the intro yet seamlessly transitions. Even the spattering of drums in the background at the end doesn’t clash with the mellow start.
But that’s just how B.o.B. rolls. He seems so comfortable in his urban rockabilly numbers that when he bodies a beat, such as Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones Pt. II,” you forget he can spit bars with the best of them. Take it from the man himself: “I’m just saying I can switch up the flow.”
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