By: Amanda Anderson
Hip Hop heads were impressed with B.o.B.’s first single “Nothin’ On You,” but how many of us really expected the young Decatur, Georgia native to deliver with his new album? Not many. I’ll be honest, I expected his hottest track to be his first single, and I expected the rest of the album to be filled with duds. And that’s because most artists are doing just that, and it’s rare to come across an artist who can create the type of album that you can just let play through. And I am glad to say that B.o.B. has managed to do it effortlessly.
B.o.B is not your typical rapper. He is a real artist who can sing, play the guitar, and write the type of lyrics that put him in the same playing field as some of the most talented emcees. He’s still relatively new to the spotlight, so he still has more to prove as an artist.
Let’s talk about why this album is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. For one thing, B.o.B. is not an artist that feels he can’t escape from the box that most rappers glue themselves to. This album is the perfect blend of alternative rock, hip-hop, R&B/Soul, and even Pop. For music heads like me, it’s a dream come true to have one album that can combine so many popular music genres. I can appreciate it, and if you really love music, you will as well.
Dirty South rap enthusiasts will love “I Bet” which features Atlanta rapper T.I. It’s the perfect track for the Atlanta Bounce crowd. Alternative rock fans will love Airplanes (features Haley Williams from Paramore) which has a sick remix featuring the rap great Eminem. While the song is awesome simply for the sound and collabo of rap and alternative rock, Eminem’s verse is phenomenal.
“Past My Shades” (features Lupe Fiasco) is a stellar track, and I have to say this is one of the best Hip-Hop collabs I have heard in a while. Another amazing collab is “5th Dimension” (features Fantasia Barrino’s brother Rico Barrino), and this has a Marvin Gaye feel that is years ahead of Hip-Hop. This has to be one of the best tracks on the album.
Other stand out tracks include “Lovelier Than You” which will have you wanting to call your boo and tell them how much you love them, “Ghost In The Machine” which touches on the difficulties of being original in a world full of clones, “Don’t Let Me Fall,” and bonus track “Letters From Vietnam.”
Now I know there will be some one to challenge me on this review, but for me, the best albums come from artists who don’t feel the need to make every track sound the same. They don’t limit themselves, and they take risks that demonstrate what makes them a true artist. B.o.B. is here to stay and I will gladly say I had to replay most of the songs while working on this album review because they were so dope. I haven’t felt that way since…well Outkast.
So here it goes…
Editor’s Grade: A+
I stand beside this grade and I encourage you to check out these tracks for yourself. If you aren’t moved to buy the album just yet and you need to be convinced before you spend any money, click here and get a taste of the entire album including the bonus tracks. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.