He's been highly regarded as one of hip-hop's rising stars, and B.o.B. certainly lives up to the hype on his star-studded debut album.
The Atlanta rapper made his name with his first single, the smooth and easy-going "Nothin' On You" featuring singer Bruno Mars.
Chances are if you are a fan of that song, you'll probably enjoy "B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray."
For those unfamiliar with B.o.B., his rap style could be best described as a mix of Lupe Fiasco, Cee-Lo and Outkast. Fiasco joins Bobby Ray on "Past My Shades," one of several standout tracks.
The debut features a host of guest appearances including Hayley Williams of Paramore and Eminem on "Airplanes, Pt. II," singer Janelle Monae on "The Kids" and Fantasia's older brother, Ricco Barrino on "5th Dimension."
But the best collaboration features the fresh out of jail T.I. and Playboy Tre on the album's crunkest track, "Bet I."
"Bud, Bust, Bet I bust / That's just what I does / Just put me anywhere on the map / With a backpack strapped still I bet I bust / Bet I float, bet I rip this beat, bet I feel that soul / Bet I go, Bet I bench these N****s like Ray, sit down Bro," he spits on "Bet I."
B.o.B. is a dope lyricist, there's no question about it. But for his first studio album to have all these guest spots *slightly* takes away from his own abilities as an artist.
Honestly, I bet a lot of people like "Nothin' On You" because of the soothing chorus sang by Bruno Mars paired with a dope instrumental.
However, there's no question he can hold his own. "Ghost in the Machine" and "Don't Let Me Fall" are good examples that he doesn't need any features.
Nonetheless, the album is in a league of its own, but it almost felt like a mixtape rather than his first solo effort. Not a bad criticism for Bobby Ray, who is leading the way for a new generation of hip-hop artists.
Get the album.