B.o.B - B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
Record Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: April 27th, 2010
Every year there seems to be an artist that comes out of nowhere into the mainstream with a huge hit. In 2007, there was the monstrosity of Soulja Boy. 2009 hated music fans by giving us the cesspool also known as Ke$ha. But luckily for the music world, 2010 will be known for the gem of B.o.B. Who the f*ck is B.o.B, you wonder? I wondered the same as his now-platinum single "Nothin' on You" blared through my stereo. He probably expects that reaction too; it's even the title of one of his mixtapes. Little did I know, B.o.B was actually following me around more than I thought. He had songs I heard constantly on games like Madden 10 and also made a few guest appearances on other songs. Whether you know him from listening to his songs while getting your ass whooped in a sports game or as "the guy from that Cobra Starship song", it'll all be a thing in the past, as everyone is going to remember him for his debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray.
The Adventures begin with "Don't Let Me Fall" as it shows the softer side of what will be on the record. It's one of the few songs on it that present more of a "pop" instead of "hop." Lead single "Nothin' on You" follows this mold as well, except with a different formula: it has the mellow, ear-catching chorus but B.o.B's flow over rock sounding verses. Bruno Mars also makes an appearance on this song -- the first of many guests throughout the record.
Guest appearances on any type of album usually generates some negativity but the ones on Adventures really shine and freshen it up a bit. The standout track is without a doubt the surefire smash "Airplanes," with Hayley Williams of Paramore offering her vocals to one of the most infectious choruses made all year. Other guests include a quirky appearance in "Magic" by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and rapper T.I. on the banger "Bet I." Guests aside, the songs work well on their own too. The aforementioned "Bet I" is best suitable for in the car with the windows rolled down while "Fame" won't be let out on any party playlists this summer. Another notable is "Lovelier Than You" which consists of entirely acoustic guitar, showing off B.o.B's talents in areas other than just rap. The journey comes to a close with "Airplanes (Part 2)," and what a close it is. With the same chorus as part one, part two includes new verses from B.o.B and one from Eminem, who has killed it with every guest spot he has contributed to lately, and it's no different here.
It's without question that B.o.B has joined the likes of Wale and Kid CuDi with The Adventures of Bobby Ray, as they've all released exceptional debut albums within the genre. Now you know who B.o.B is, but the question that remains is if he has the longevity to maintain a career following the success that's bound to come with this record. However, it's safe to assume that while Soulja Boy fades into oblivion, people realize that Ke$ha is, well,...Ke$ha, and 2011 brings us another flash-in-the-pan gimmick, Bobby Ray Simmons will only improve on his existing talent and make the #1 spot rightfully his for years to come.