B.o.B relies on others’ fame, fails to prove own talent

B.o.B relies on others' fame, fails to prove own talent

www.zimbio.com

B.o.B performs at BET’s Rip the Runway. His new album fails to exhibit any talent as a solo artist, and instead relies on the talent of his guests.

Hayden Quigley, Staff Writer

Hip-hop artist B.o.B, whose real name is Bobby Ray, has released his second studio album, Strange Clouds. The album features appearances from Morgan Freeman, Taylor Swift, and Lil Wayne, giving each song its own personality but failing to show B.o.B’s talent as an artist.

His previous album, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, also featured many artists. In his first album, he sang alone on only four songs, and on this album he sings alone in six songs.

It seems that B.o.B uses other artists as a fallback to help distinguish each of his songs. By singing with other artists he appeals to their fans as well, broadening the number of people who will purchase his album. These artists become a crutch for mass appeal when he should really be seeking to add personality to his songs himself.

By using so many different artists in his songs, B.o.B does show that he can sing with anyone and in a variety of styles. B.o.B is somewhat of a chameleon in hip-hop music and proves to be a versatile, if sometimes generic artist.

“There are people who are fans of the mix-tape stuff, people who are fans of just, you know, me playing the guitar, rocking out, fans of me singing, rapping, and fans of ‘Nothin’ on You’ and ‘Airplanes’ who just know The Adventures of Bobby Ray material,” said Bobby Ray to mtv.com. “But this next album is like a culmination of everything combined and I feel like that’s really why I’m so excited about it and eager to put it out because I’m just ready to get back on the court with it.”

His song “Where Are You” (B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray) is perhaps the most self-aware track on the album. The song presents the two different perspectives of B.o.B and Bobby Ray. These are the artist’s two identities, and he uses the song to vent his frustrations. This identity crisis makes B.o.B a more real and honest artist.

Although the songs were lyrically different, most have the same rhythm and beat.

Morgan Freeman lends his unique voice to the album’s first track, “Bombs Away.” Freeman uses his deep, persuasive voice to capture the listeners’ attention and make a great entrance for B.o.B.

One of the more popular songs on the album, “Both of Us” features Taylor Swift, and is the most unique on the album. B.o.B. slows down the tempo and makes it a melodic song, appealing to Swift’s fans as well as his own.

Overall, Strange Clouds is a good variety album with many different artists to keep you interested. With upbeat, commercial appeal and big-name guest artists, B.o.B has ensured that the album will be met with success and popularity.

In the future, it would be in B.o.B’s best interest to perform solo and showcase what he himself can bring to the hip-hop scene rather than what his featured artists can do.

By relying too heavily on other artists’ cameos in his songs, he will lose his own style and surely fade away in the industry.