Extracted from the AOR Vault: February 2009

What’s going on B.o.B.?

B.o.B.: Hey, what’s going on? How are you doing?

Good! You’re still really young but people wouldn’t guess it with all of the styles and genres you touch upon with your music. What do you attribute your diversity to?

B.o.B.: I attribute my diversity to my thirst for growth, understanding and learning a lot about music and just being real. Really just the freedom to express myself without holding back. Everyone has the ability to be as free as they want to be. It just depends on how much they want to hold back. When I go into the studio I don’t think, “Okay I’m a Hip Hop artist so let me get this Hip Hop beat.” I kind of just open it up musically. Of course because people compartmentalize they bring all that interest into the genre for the rest of the Hip Hop fans to experience so they can be more open minded about the element of the music and what Hip Hop is. Hip Hop is really just the calling of the globe in general.

Since you’re part of the younger generation or artists, what was the Hip Hop that you came up on and influenced you?

B.o.B.:  Okay yeah, I like that. The Hip Hop I grew up on that influenced me was DMX, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Nas, T.I., Lil Wayne, Outkast and Goodie Mobb. Those were the main influences. Somewhere in that order, those are the main ones. You probably couldn’t tell by where I’m at but my biggest rap influence was Eminem.

Are you a fan of the Atlanta Hip Hop scene?

B.o.B.: Definitely. It took me a while to swing around to that. There was this period where I wasn’t a real Hip Hop head, so I didn’t really like Atlanta music when I was a little kid. It’s funny because it was like a guilty pleasure I’ll say. [Laughs] There was this song I heard called “Reaction” with Killer Mike, Bun B and Bone Crusher. When the song came on I didn’t want to like it but it was so hard I couldn’t help it. That really kind of opened me up to a lot of the music scene in Atlanta. It wasn’t so much the fact of the style of music it was it was the fact I was the type of kid that was rebellious, revolutionist type of person, so whatever everyone else was doing I didn’t want to do it and I wanted to be different. Just the fact that I was in Atlanta, everything was jumping and popping off and I wanted to stray away from that. I didn’t want to get caught up in that so that’s probably why I’m not your typical ATLien.

Based off songs like “Don’t Be Afraid” or “Left Field”, would it be fair to say you think artists have stopped taking risks?

B.o.B.: I feel artists are getting too comfortable. We all have free will so every artist can go as far as they want to go. There comes a time when you have to take it the next step further that’s necessary and needed. When it’s needed don’t be afraid to be left field.

We saw that you play guitar during your live shows. How long have you been playing and do you play any other instruments?

B.o.B.: I’m still learning how to play the Cello. I play the Keyboard and I used to be pretty badass on the Trumpet. I haven’t played that in a while, so I think I’m going to pick that up.

What is the fans response when you start playing the guitar?

B.o.B.: They’re like, “I didn’t know he played guitar?” You know some people just pose with it. It’s a really cool prop man but you know, I guess some people don’t think I can play it. Hahah!

So soon you’ll be surprising them by jumping on stage with the Cello. Hahah!

B.o.B.: I’ll admit. I’ll definitely jump on stage with the Cello in the future. Hahah!

Your most recent release is the “Who the Fuck Is B.o.B.” Mixtape. How has the response been so far?

B.o.B.: The response has been surprisingly great. The people have been really receptive to it.  A lot of people have told me after they listen, “Man when I first heard it I didn’t really know about it, but it grew on me.” I’m like man that’s amazing and I’m thinking to myself that they aren’t ready for the album. It’s going to be a real brain stretcher. [Laughs] The album is going to be a real brain stretcher. And not in terms of weirdness but musically it’s things you probably wouldn’t have thought about doing.

So what can you tell us about your debut album; in terms of title, release date, who you’re working and so forth.

B.o.B.: So far we don’t have a scheduled release date. I haven’t turned it in yet, so there aren’t any guaranteed definite tracks, so I don’t know what features will be on there. Although I have been working with a few producers. I have been working with DJ Toomp, DJ Toomp is crazy, and I’m also going to get in the studio with Jazzy Pha and Shorty Red. The type of music and sound I want to have is I don’t want to get all the hottest artists and hottest producers and just put them together and have a prestigious album on the surface. I want it to actually be something that’s classic. As long as I’m overseeing that I think it will hold its own weight.

So do you have a title for it yet?

B.o.B.: The Adventures of Bobby Ray.

What label will it be released on?

B.o.B.: Rebel Rock Entertainment / Grand Hustle / Atlantic Records

Will any of the songs that have been released up until now be on the album?

B.o.B.: “I’ll Be In the Sky”

Speaking of “I’ll Be In the Sky”. That video was awesome. Can you tell us about the Director, the creative process and how you guys brought the images to life?

B.o.B.: The Director was Gabriel Hart.  I definitely had a lot of fun making this video. I got a lot more involved in this video than I had on the “Haters” video. With this video what we did was we had a lot of directors send a bunch of video treatments. Overall Gabriel was the one that stood out to me the most. A lot of them were very creative and I liked a lot of them but that one was the one that really spoke to me and portrayed what I wanted in the video. When we got him on board we both went back and forth and we edited the script and the treatment and got everything together. We started shooting it and it started to pop and we had a good time. In the beginning where I’m laying on the ground it was 38 degrees outside. I was actually freezing out there. Hahah

Parting words?

B.o.B.: “I’ll Be In the Sky”

Follow: X I IG I Facebook