August 20, 2010

B.o.B. - Playing Kids For The Kids

Rapper B.o.B. performs at Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ, on Aug. 18, 2010.

B.o.B. - Kids (MGMT cover)


JACKSON – Rap fans today aren’t looking for a spiritual leader or an artist with a political message. They’re looking strictly for originality, hip-hop baby face B.o.B. tells The Trentonian.

“I think kids look for the same thing in a hip-hop artist they would look in for a rock artist or pop artist. I think what they’re looking for is something original,” B.o.B. said in an exclusive interview after Wednesday night’s show at Six Flags Great Adventure’s North Star Arena.

“They want an artist with a sense of self and not necessarily a sense of job,” the 21-year-old Southern star said – cooling down from an electric hour-long set of songs featured on his hit album, “B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray.”

“They don’t want to listen to an artist who feels like they’re listening to someone who’s just doing their job or recording something because they’re just in the studio and are told to just record it.”

B.o.B – real name Bobby Ray Simmons Jr. – is the new face of hip-hop.

His crossover hit “Airplanes” – featuring Paramore’s Hayley Williams - has been burning up multiple radio formats since the spring. It recently won the Hook Up Song of The Year at Fox’s Teen Choice of Awards and was up for a ton of MTV Video Music Awards Sept. 12.

And even in a time when MTV finds little room for actually music coverage between exploitive Guido and slutty teen mom “reality” programming, B.o.B. has found his niche with the mainstream giant.

“It’s been a really busy day,” he told the capacity Six Flags crowd. “Was just up in New York recoding my ‘MTV Unplugged’.”

Signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records, B.o.B. has found success by staying clear of rap’s thuggish modern makeup. His style is more Outcast and Lupe Fiasco than 50 Cent – a rapper that plays guitar while throwing-back of sorts to ’80s R&B and classic soul and rock ’n’ roll along the way.

The mix of young faces – from brace-faced Latinos to screechy suburban girlies and slick-sneaker-sporting African American backpackers, all recording the rappers every move on their Blackberry - that braved pouring rain Wednesday night to witness his radio hits live proves this guy’s career is boundless.

Further proof of his crossover appeal came at the conclusion of the show when he turned out a rousing rendition of the now-way hit “Kids” by MGMT.

“Control yourself … take only what you need from it,” the lyrics go.

Well, B.o.B.’s in control of his destiny. And the world is what he’s going to take over.

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