If you thought Decatur, Georgia local B.o.B. was a one-trick pony, that you’d heard the last of him with ‘Nothin’ On You’ or perhaps with the Hailey Paramore-assisted ‘Airplanes’ or even with the Rivers Weezer-assisted, cathcy as hell ‘Magic’, Bobby Rayeturned from his adventures in platinum-selling land to tell you that goddamit, you Simmons has rwere wrong as hell. B.o.B. is not merely a creation of the Bruno Mars hit factory, he’s not just T.I.’s waterboy over at Grand Hustle records and, moreover, he won’t be written off after one spectacularly successful debut. Bobby Ray is here to stay.
With the release last week of ‘No Genre’, his seventh mixtape in only four years (including February’s chronologically-inconsistent ‘May 25’ download), B.o.B. has proven not only that he’s a bludgeon for punishment in the recording studio but that he’s got a patent wealth of artistic potential that he’s yet to explore and/or exploit commercially. On ‘B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray’, (only released in April this year but already the 22 year old seems like a fixture on the pop/rap circuits respectively), we got a 12 track window into the supreme talent that is B.o.B. On ‘No Genre’, B.o.B. explodes those genre conventions (as the name would suggest) dictated by A&R and big industry types and, in delivering direct to the people via free download, has delivered a mixtape that the fat cats at Atlantic Records would never let him release.
On first appearances, ‘Dr Aden’ is Bobby Ray’s version of Lil Wayne’s Carter III classic ‘Dr Carter’. But on closer listening, ‘Dr Aden’ eschews the relatively shallow metaphor that undepinned Weezy’s hit single in order to really probe the culture of secrecy that pervades American society. Probably unintentionally, B.o.B. has tapped a real vein of anti-Government sentiment that has engulfed the world of late courtesy of one humble Aussie, Julian Assange and his Wikileaks compadres. Interspersed with soundbytes warning of population control operations, AIDs vaccine cover-ups and top-secret military ops in Central America, ‘Dr Aden’ is a masterful stroke of narrative rapping. Not only was I instantly impressed by how B.o.B. took rhyming the ‘-ation’ sound to another level (who even knew that many words ended with the suffix?!) but ‘Dr Aden’ is also outstandingly coherent. There is not enough space here to prattle on about the merits of his latest mixtape success. Suffice to say no genre will hold him back.
B.o.B. – Dr. Aden
Download B.o.B’s ‘No Genre’ mixtape here FREE.