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His début album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, of 2010 saw rapper/producer B.o.B head straight to the top of the charts. The album’s leading single, ‘Nothin’ On You‘ (featuring Bruno Mars), flew to top every chart with the Hayley Williams supported track, ‘Airplanes’, close behind. The success was boarding on phenomenal, and so this May saw a return as B.o.B attempted to repeat the success with his second studio album, ‘Strange Clouds‘. The album has managed to peak at the number one spot on the Billboard Rap/R&B/Hip-Hop charts, fighting fierce with Nicki Minaj’s ’Pink Friday:Roman Reloaded‘. However, here in the UK, the album has only managed to peak at number 30 after two weeks, with the single ‘So Good‘, managing to peak at 7. There have been mixed reactions to B.o.B’s sophomore album, as many critics don’t know what the artist is supposed to be representing or if he has even managed to define a musical identity at all – you’ll remember the same sort of thing was said about Minaj’s second album.
Just like Minaj, B.o.B is playing with multiple genres, trying to adjust the boundaries, proving that the line between some are nearly non-existence. The album bounces between the hybrids as it proves to be an interesting but, also, a confusing album that could appeal to the more open-minded music fans. Unlike ‘Roman Reloaded‘, the album is not split into two groups, but instead lacks any order as the conflicting sounds run riot about the track list. Lyrically, he cannot be touched; no one can deny that he is talented in maintaining straight-forward and sophisticated raps that hardly digress or become abstract. It is an album filled with inspiring lines that often boarder on the personal as the album’s subject matters tend to revolve around B.o.B’s mental conflicts, mostly based on the lessons that fame has taught him. Just like the music, the raps tend to bounce between various identities as it is one minute boastful and the next, despairing; creating a sense of the artist lacking focus.

By Kacela

B.o.B Strange Clouds