Tonight is your chance to see a hip-hop star with a playful self-image shooting his way to the top. As Sean Fennessey wrote in our April 21 issue
is about to get ridiculously huge. Whether the Atlanta rapper is being called Bobby Ray or his abbreviated shortcut of a moniker, the dude is making a name for himself. Fennessey writes:
Make no mistake: B.o.B has been anointed and handled very carefully. He's been shaped slowly over time, getting the chance to fail with the 2008 single "I'll Be in the Sky" before scoring with "Nothin' on You," a song that, while catchy, probably doesn't distinguish B.o.B. Hook man Bruno Mars can claim much of the credit for its success, thanks to his wet-lipped chorus. The song will make B.o.B famous, but what makes him important is everything that isn't "Nothin' on You."
To become viable in 2010, young rappers must be about more than rap. And these days, B.o.B seems to be favoring the singer-songwriter stuff. Rather than worry about alienating hard-core rap fans -- who don't buy albums -- B.o.B has wisely teased [his new album] The Adventures of Bobby Ray with spacey fluff like "Satellite" and "Don't Let Me Fall." His Coldplay allegiance (the band was his first concert and primary inspiration) is all over these songs.
More good news: The guy is Justin Bieber's favorite rapper. That's a win.
Read the full piece on B.o.B. here
, and catch him live tonight, opening for Lupe Fiasco
at the Warfield
(8 p.m., $34.25)
For more Tuesday recommendations, check out our calendar picks
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