Monday, June 16, 2014

B.o.B

Thursday, June 26 @ Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.

bob
Google+ Pinterest Print
The Adventures of Bobby Ray, Georgia’s B.o.B proudly introduced himself as not-your-typical rapper, collaborating with outsiders like Lupe Fiasco and Janelle Monáe and alternative rock figures Rivers Cuomo of Weezer and Hayley Williams of Paramore. These days, though, B.o.B is perfectly cool being your typical rapper. On his 2013 album Underground Luxury, B.o.B took on all the characteristics of the money-grabbing, bottle-popping rap star that he implicitly rebuked on his debut. Not since MC Hammer donned a speedo and went gangsta on The Funky Headhunter has a rapper been this conspicuous about overhauling his image.

Funny thing about B.o.B, though: Unlike Hammer, he’s actually pretty good at flip-flopping. With shameless club fodder like “We Still in This Bitch” (featuring T.I. and Juicy J) and bangers like “Ready” (featuring Future), Underground Luxury is a consistently lively listen and a far more fun, carefree record than 2012’s self-important Strange Clouds, which awkwardly paired B.o.B with pop stars like Taylor Swift and Chris Brown. It turns out B.o.B was never the rebellious weirdo he passed himself off as on Bobby Ray. All along he was just a chameleon, a Zelig-like figure with a gift for adapting to the times and doing whatever it takes to stay on the charts, if not on his terms then on somebody else’s.