B.o.B. was in town the other night at theMID on a promotional tour for his upcoming new album "Strange Clouds". An Atlanta product-B.o.B.-otherwise known as Bobby Ray Simmons-is one of today's new generation hip hop artist-and a refreshing personality on the scene. He's likable. His lyrics are intellectual and engaging. He's got his own sound. And he's here to discuss his latest project-so let's see what he has to say…
What brings you to ChicagoNow?
I'm on my sophomore album titled "Strange Clouds". It's all about bringing the ghetto to the galaxy…bringing the clouds to the ground…high tech meets low tech-you know it's everything. The first single is "Strange Clouds" featuring L'il Wayne and I have a mix tape coming out this month titled "Epic".
What can your fans expect from the new album and then the mixtape?
The mixtape is really just an appetizer-nothing too serious-so that it would over shadow the new album. I'm going to put good music on the mixtape…I treat everything like and album. And that's actually been my motto. Before I had my first album I had to put out mixtures just to keep the water on-so I treat them like albums so when people listen-they'll have an idea what the album will sound like.
And for me the mixtape will have album quality-but nothing too serious-just a couple of songs to get people interested in the new album.
The new album-"Strange Clouds"-will be out in March and for now I have to keep secret how many tracks and what other artists will be featured on it.
Growing up in Atlanta-what gave you the vision to pursue your career as a hip hip artist?
Well, I got signed at 17 to Atlantic Records right out of high school. For me that was the moment where I felt like you're in it(the music business)-so what are you going to do(with this opportunity)?
And it's been a work in progress. Just getting a record deal wasn't the end all-be all. It's like now you've really started. In all situations a record deal-doesn't necessarily make you a successful artist-it is really about your movement and having a plan.
Just getting that early start contributed to my accomplishments-with the goals I set out to do. So now I'm trying to make sure I keep moving forward. The mixtape is called "Epic"-with every play being crucial-so every movement is crucial. I take it as seriously as me performing for the President or for 15 people…it's crucial.
You've had quite a few hits today with clean and danceable hip hip songs. Do you feel you can continue with success producing this type of music going forward?
I feel like I continue to make that type of music and be successful. I got stuff for the whole hood and the other side of the tracks. So stay tuned!
Well, B.o.B. definitely has love in Chicago and we will look forward to his new album "Strange Clouds" due out in March 2010. Every move is crucial with B.o.B. and his new album will be Epic.