Wrote a long essay over at Passion today on B.O.B.'s new record, pop-rap, indie rock/rap crossover and the perils of being a major label rapper in 2010. BTW "Nothin' On You" has been #1 on the Billboards for just over 3 months, just got bumped to #2 by that horrific Usher/Wil.i.am song. Click the excerpt below to read the whole ting.
It’s no secret anymore that the genre boundaries between hip-hop and alternative/indie rock are becoming increasingly blurred. Kid Cudi was the first influential rapper to convincingly adopt an indie aesthetic, singing and rapping over songs by Band of Horses, LCD Soundsystem and Vampire Weekend without pandering to the hipster audience; don’t forget his palpable influence on 808s and Heartbreak, the album which brought this aesthetic to the mainstream. Even after everyone and their kid brother rapped over “Paper Planes” and Capo mumbled over MGMT, who would have expected to see a remake of a Vampire Weekend song on a major label rap album in 2010? Sure, the aforementioned “Kids” is a sad waste of Janelle Monae but B.o.B. still does a lot right on this album. His sincere appreciate of Paramore make the Hayley Williams collabo plausible; “Airplanes” is honest, emotive pop-rap, seemingly tailor-made for Facebook profile quotes. “Don’t Let Me Fall” is a great summation of B.o.B.’s rapping and songwriting talents, a rousing risin’-to-the-top tale with enormous hooks.