Label: Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic
Saving grace: "Bet I" f/ Playboy Tre and T.I.
Clunker: "Magic" f/ Rivers CuomoFrom the very beginning of his career, it was clear B.o.B was not a typical rapper. He was an MC, producer, and singer who insisted on making different types of music. Leading up to his debut album, B.o.B released a string of mixtapes , notably B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray, May 25th, and Cloud 9, that featured him rapping his ass off on songs like "The Biz," "Gladiators," and "I'm That Nigga" with T.I. When the album finally dropped, fans didn't get much of that rapping and instead got a whole lot of pop cross over singles. Usually, fans would be quick to criticize an album like that as a sell out but with B.o.B that's most likely the music he wanted to make all along.
While "Magic" and "Airplanes" absolutely killed radio and became huge hits, fans that fell in love with B.o.B's raps weren't looking for those types of songs. The disappointment that comes with B.o.B's debut is very likely the fault of fans like us for expecting a talented rapper to make a certain type of music he didn't want to make. Still, we can't help but feel a bit mislead. —Max Goldberg