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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

B.o.B. on women, cars and collaborations
Rapper's 'Underground Luxury debuts Dec. 17
 
Published Wednesday, November 27, 2013 2:09 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

Atlanta-based rapper B.o.B., nee Bobby Ray Simmons, stopped in Charlotte last week to promote his new album “Underground Luxury,” which hits stores Dec.

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PHOTO/HANNIBAL MATTHEWS
Atlanta-based rapper B.o.B.’s third studio album, “Underground Luxury,” drops on Dec. 17.

17. 

The multitalented performer and songwriter, who turned 25 on Nov. 15, produced many of the album’s 15 tracks.

“When I say ‘produced by me’ that means I did everything on the track,” he said. “I played the guitar and all the instruments. Basically, I used my hands and did all the music.” 

Although he got into music at an early age – playing trumpet through high school and spending his teens working Atlanta’s underground music scene – B.o.B.’s rise to mainstream success seemed to occur overnight with the release of his debut album “The Adventures of Bobby Ray” in 2010.

The album included the wildly successful single “Nothing on You” featuring crooner Bruno Mars, which took the No. 1 spots in the United States and United Kingdom.

With “Underground Luxury,” B.o.B.’s third studio album, the Carolina native said he is aiming to show a different side of himself. The album includes the hit singles “HeadBead” featuring 2 Chainz and “Ready” with Future. Chris Brown, Priscilla Renea, T.I. and Juicy J are also all featured on the album. 

After playing several tracks from “Underground Luxury” for an intimate group of journalists, bloggers and a few lucky fans at Wet Willie’s, B.o.B. answered a few questions about his work and personal preferences. Here’s some of what he had to say.

On collaborating with other artists:

“I don’t just collaborate with people to be relevant or to make a power move. I really like the music. Nobody really knew who Bruno Mars was before “Nothing on You.” In the hood, a lot of people didn’t know who Haley Williams of Paramore was. So, I’m all about working with new artists. It’s about the music.” 

On the type of women he likes:

“I just like a woman who’s confident. That’s what makes a woman sexy to me.”

On his favorite jewelry pieces:

“I’m actually in to making my own jewelry and just doing different things. Like I use vintage Native American beads and [stuff] like that.”

On his dream car:

“I’m more of an old school person. I’m getting me an old school Cutlass soft-top… ’67.” 

On favorite places to travel (other than Charlotte, of course):

“Amsterdam and Tokyo. Those two are tied for obvious reasons. (Laughter)”

On maturing in the business:

“Sometimes I feel like I was introduced to the world before I was really introduced to myself. It’s a lot that I’ve learned about myself from [the age of] 17 to 25. Certain things you just have to grow naturally in to doing. I’m a Scorpio, so I’m stubborn…  I’m growing into who I am now. I’m one of those people where I’d rather just give you me than it being [a difference of] night and day between me being an artist and who I am. It’s the same person.”

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