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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 16 – Looking down at the sky



Artist: B.O.B.
Song: Airplanes
Album: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
 
On a plane, to a land, far away, called merry old Ingerland, as part of the in flight entertainment, I got to listen to the entirety of B.OB.’s ‘The adventures of Bobby Ray.’ Lucky me. Since I rarely listen to the radio, and hate most of popular music, I would probably have passed him by, which would have been my loss.
Bobby Ray Simmons, aka B.O.B. is one of the hottest emcees right now. Southern Rap is pretty much dead, but if it can be revived, he has as good a chance as anyone, even though his sound is quite different from what came before. This is probably for the best. The genre itself has not really updated itself in a while and has become stale and old.

I’ve become a big fan of what I call ‘genre blending.’ Different genres that blend together to create something unique and arguably better. THe sum is sometimes greater than the parts. One thing that I like about his music is that he blends some funk into his emceeing. He reminds me a lot of Andre 3000 and I hope his sound can mature and improve like Outkast’s did. His song ‘Magic’ with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer is a good example of this. It’s a nice blend of rap, pop and rock and the end result is better for that.

His earlier mixtapes which included the song ‘Haterz Everywhere’ were pretty raw, but you could see the potential even then. He’s got a good sense for lyrical timing and his flow is smooth at times, and jumpy when it needs to be. His next single ‘I’ll be in the sky’ showcased his creative chops. The introductory keyboard chords and the generally improved music production showed his rapid improvement. One of the weakest parts of contemporary rap is in the choruses, but he has some stellar ones, especially due to his awesome use of guest stars to liven up his tracks, but he can handle the duties himself when necessary (Just see ‘Don’t let me fall’ for proof).
His debut album featuring songs such as ‘Nothin on you (with Bruno Mars)’, and Airplanes (Feat Hayley Williams of Paramore) has been a smash hit and rightfully so. Lupe Fiasco, Janelle Monae, Eminem and a whole host of guest stars are all anchored by his stellar production work and awesome vocals and lyrics. This album along with Gorillaz eponymous first album and Arctic Monkey’s ‘Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not’ hold the distinction of having every song be a personal favourite.
He’s one of the rising stars of hip-hop for sure. He’s received a lot of critical acclaim and success and he deserves all of it. He’s still fairly young and he clearly has even further to go.
As an addendum, listening to a song called ‘Don’t let me fall’ while travelling 30000 feet above the ground can lead to anxiety where none previously existed and the adventures of Bobby ray wins my award for best album name on this list so far. 

Best lyrics
So airplane, airplane I'm sorry I'm late
I'm on my way so don't close that gate
If I don't make that then I'll switch my flight
And I'll be right back at it by the end of the night

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