Album review- B.O.B. - The Adventures of Bobby Ray

Okay, so it's been quite a road to travel for B.O.B. . A couple of years ago he had a surprise smash with "Haters Everywhere" - a generic Southern rap song that didn't paint an accurate picture of what B.O.B. could actually do and was one of the featured artists on last year's XXL Freshmen 10. Being signed to T.I.'s Grand Hustle records while the main artist was in jail didn't help his status as he dropped a single that I loved but went in an entirely different direction in "I'll be in the Sky".

After that, B.O.B. seemed to have disappeared for quite a while until the newest single, "Nothing On You" dropped and has absolutely exploded as a precursor to his album. The album isn't perfect but it is the album Kid Cudi should have made.

The album starts off with "Don't Let me Fall" an orchestra piece of music that has many layers during the hook, then simplifies for the verses and reminds me a lot of Bombs over Baghdad by Outkast in that sense. He is also solo on "Ghosts in the Machine" which is alright but the verses just shouldn't have been sung in my opinion. Had he rapped more or at least some on the song to really drive it home it would be more cohesive as a 'rap' effort. "Fame" reminds me of a Ludacris song with simpler lyrics, and "Lovelier than You" is the song done as "Ghosts" should have been and is more well put together.

Features are in abundance, with Bruno Mars on the lead single, and B.O.B. holds his own alongside Lupe Fiasco on "Past My Shades" which is another example of the good blend in this hybrid of hip-pop-blues-r and b that B.O.B. is putting out with this album. "Bet I" the next single, with T.I. and Playboy Tre bangs to get in the D-boy whips however, it seems like a lazy song to feature Tip on. Janelle Monae, another newcomer lends her vocals to "The Kids", and Rico Barrino handles the hook on "5th Dimension" a tight composition where all the elements again work perfectly. The song that is the most controversial has to be "Magic" with Rivers Cuomo as the song the average hip-hop consumer is going to hear and have a quizzical look because of. The song is straight pop-rock in it's DNA. Another stand out is "Airplanes" which features Hayley Williams of the rock group Paramoure (one of my wife's favorite bands) and the remix which includes a seemingly refreshed Eminem.

This B.O.B. album isn't for everyone especially fans of normal Grand Hustle fare like Young LA and Dro but it has the potential to reach a vastly greater audience. Picking up seemingly off of the heels of the "Love Below" portion of the last Outkast album, B.O.B. expands upon the boundaries of what hip-hop is defined as with a variety of sounds and styles that manage to be cohesive. The D-boys aren't going to rush out and get this but the album breaks up the general monotony of hip-hop and deserves to be promoted and pushed opposite of the likes of Rick Ross, and Wayne's of the world as an alternative and view into the potential  of what the genre of music can be. That said, I would have loved for Bobby Ray to take a song or two and just put his lyrics on display without all of the pageantry around them, sort of in the vein of "Bet I" but maybe a little bit more substantial. However, I can't fault him for what he did and look forward to a long career for B.O.B.

Rating: 4/5


  1. Great article I'm about to visit this blog more often thoe i'm not much of a fan of that bob character

  2. Well... I very much prefer the version on Bobby from "I'll be in the sky" over the tracks from the album. He is too much pop-rock for me, exactly as you said.
    Great blog btw

  3. Thanks yes this is a little pop-rock heavy but it is different.


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