Archives For b.o.b

It’s a story all-too-familiar these days in music: two artists collaborate without even meeting, let alone stepping in the same studio.

The latest example of this that we talked about on the radio show involved Brielle Von Hugel. The Staten Island native has three singles on Spotify with over a million streams: “Naked,” her featured vocals on Nervo’s “Alone” and the B.o.B-assisted “Stronger.”

Not only has Von Hugel never met the artist, nee Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr., but originally she didn’t even intend for him to have bars on that particular track.

“I originally wanted B.o.B to be featured on another song that I wrote,” the singer/songwriter revealed during an interview on my show last week. “So my team sent over my music just so he could get a feel of my style; he actually liked ‘Stronger’ better.”

Von Hugel was honored that he wanted to jump on any track, and so she gladly obliged to his request. The B.o.B-version is a Spotify-exclusive; a rap-less rendition is available everywhere else.

Also out is her latest, “Naked,” a song that deals with feeling comfortable in your own skin. The track was influenced by the bullying that Von Hugel experienced both as a kid and as she continued her music career, a path that would eventually take her to “American Idol” before becoming a member of Postmodern Jukebox.

“I feel like now more than ever I’m so comfortable in my own skin,” she noted. “A lot of great things are happening, so I really sing that with truth and I love the message.”

Von Hugel just wrapped a U.S. tour with PMJ and now heads to Europe for a four-week jaunt where she’ll tally only three days off. When the artist returns to Staten Island in May, she’ll continue working on new solo material.

How many other rappers do you know that can pull off collabs with the wide spectrum of artists that B.o.B has? From Rivers Cuomo, Taylor Swift, and Hayley Williams to Andre 3000, Lil Wayne, Ryan Tedder, and T.I., it is seriously something to marvel at. Congrats to Bobby Ray on the release of his album Strange Clouds.

Last spring I sat down with B.o.B and asked him what we could expect from his forthcoming album, Strange Clouds, due out this spring.

The Atlanta rapper has already dropped the title track featuring Lil Wayne and “Play The Guitar” featuring André 3000. Now comes what is sure to be his breakout pop hit from the album – the Ryan Tedder-produced “So Good.”

Will Perry’s recent divorce from Russell Brand propel this track to the top of the charts, making it her record-breaking sixth number one hit from Teenage Dream? Not sure, but certainly this remix won’t hurt her chances.

Lupe Fiasco talks about B.o.B, Food and Liquor Part 2, and his relationship after the release of LASERS with Atlantic Records while on the red carpet of the 2011 MTV Movie Awards at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Fiasco performed at the awards show.

The May 15, 2010 edition of the Billboard 200 featured the debut album of B.o.B atop the chart, selling over 80,000 copies. A year separated from his number one LP, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, the Atlanta emcee still can’t believe how quickly the success came about.

“I try to stay away from a lot of stats all the time,” Bobby Ray said in an exclusive sit-down interview with “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “I don’t want to get too caught up in stats. I’d rather just play the game and look at the stats at the end of the game, but we worked hard on that album.”

The success is yielding dividends a year later, as B.o.B continues to tour the globe performing hits like “Nothin’ on You,” “Airplanes,” and “Magic.”

“You define your own success,” he said. “Just trying to get to the point where you have steady income as an artist – that takes years to get. So, that fire that keeps you (making music), that’s what creates the type of stamina that will allow you to continue to be a touring artist or whatever type of artist you want to be.”

Matter of fact, the rapper credits an artist he toured with, Atlantic Records label-mate Lupe Fiasco, as someone who helped him get to that point.

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“Lupe really looked out for me in a huge way, especially at the point that I was at,” admits B.o.B, who opened for Fiasco last spring. “I remember on tour he presented me with a cake for my album release day, and he bought an album. That was a very memorable moment for me.”

But as many would later come to find out – B.o.B received more than a cake and an album purchase from Fiasco. Both “Nothin’ on You” and “Airplanes” were originally slated for Lupe’s Lasers.

“In the music industry, there are songs that float around for some years that have nothing but a hook and a beat,” he explained. “A lot of the times those are the songs that the label has as like, ‘Alright, we’re gonna push these songs (on certain artists).’ It’s almost like an outfit. As an artist, sometimes it’s frustrating because it’s like, ‘I don’t wanna wear that outfit, I wanna make my own outfit and wear it because I have a sense of style also and I’m pretty sure my fans like the type of outfits I wear.”

B.o.B was aware that Fiasco had first dibs on “Airplanes.” Judging the results, it seems the track agreed with his wardrobe in the end.

“A lot of people say A&R and labels are wrong and they don’t know what they’re talking about. But I have to admit, sometimes us as artists don’t know what we’re talking about,” he said. “Sometimes we get too caught up in what we want, and it becomes more about proving a point than it does making music for the fans.”

Finding common ground, while not compromising himself as an artist, is something that B.o.B continues to strive for as he creates his sophomore album.

“I feel like this is a very special project,” he said. “I feel like it’s even more special than the first album.”

Surely that is something that label executives and loyal listeners all hope they can agree on.

No this is not a remix… reportedly “Airplanes” was Lupe Fiasco’s record before it became B.o.B.’s. Lupe’s trials and tribulations with Atlantic Records over the track listing for Lasers is well-documented. According to various interviews, Fiasco said that Atlantic would give him pre-produced tracks with hooks to rap over – and the Chicago emcee was not down with being forced to use other people’s songs – some of which the original writers didn’t want Fiasco to have in the first place. It’s unknown if “Airplanes” fell in to that category, but it was Fiasco’s record until he gave it to Bobby Ray. Recently, producer Jim Jonsin also revealed in an interview with MTV News that Atlantic wanted to “Nothin’ on You” for Lupe as well, but it was Jonsin who convinced the label that B.o.B. should have it.

This past weekend, Universal Republic recording artist Jessie J made her U.S. TV debut on “Saturday Night Live” – performing “Price Tag” with B.o.B. For some reason, NBC hasn’t posted the video on it’s website, so check it out below.

Of course, you heard Jessie J first on radio in the states when she called in to “The Ralphie Radio Show”…

That might not be an airplane in the night sky you see Sunday during the MTV Video Music Awards. Actually, it could just be B.o.B himself shooting through the air.

“I’m still waiting to hear back about my space boots that I’m supposed to be wearing,” revealed the “Nothin’ On You” emcee during an interview on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “Basically, (the space boots) flip the polarization of whatever you’re standing on so that you actually float.”

B.o.B was unsure if he’d have them in time for Sunday, but joked that if he did, he would wear nothing but those on stage. It’s fitting that he’s attempting to wear space boots, given that he’s nominated to win five “Moon Men” at Sunday’s VMAs.

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Certainly the rapper doesn’t need astronaut shoes to feel he’s on “Cloud 9” these days. With a number one album and a handful of big hits spawning from it, 2010 has been good to B.o.B. The success is only yielding more opportunities, one of which could make for an interesting collaboration with the band Train.

“We actually did a few shows together, and I really got to learn a lot about just everything that I’m in and everything that I’m doing because Train, they had a really big hit also like, a few years back. So for them, this is like, round two,” he explained. “I learned a lot from them so; hopefully… you never know… something could emerge!”

The emcee revealed him and Train’s Pat Monahan “have definitely talked” about teaming up in the studio – now it’s just a matter of finding time. B.o.B believes that “once the dust settles” on their current schedules, the two will work something out.

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Looking to ignite a little spark behind the movement of her second single, Priscilla Renea teamed up with B.o.B. for a remix to “Love Sick.” The track world premiered on “The Ralphie Radio Show.”

Renea said she first linked up with the Atlanta-rapper on Twitter, and later met through a mutual friend at a studio. The original version is on Renea’s debut LP, Jukebox.