Even though it has become common for signed rappers to release a bounty of freestyles and mixtapes before getting around to fulfilling the terms of their record deals, B.o.B has taken an unusually long amount of time to release an LP.
The eclectic Atlanta-based artist, who had a hit single with 2008's "I'll Be In the Sky" has been a hip-hop "one to watch" for a few years now - and fans have watched him do everything but come out with his long-ago-promised album.
B.o.B still won't have a CD for sale at when he opens up for Goodie Mob at the 9:30 club on Thursday, but the wait for "The Adventures of Bobby Ray" will soon be over. Click Track talked to the rapper about the album's street date (May 25), his new mixtape ("May 25") and the genius of "Designing Women" actress Dixie Carter, whose birthday is May 25. (OK, maybe not that last one.)
(B.o.B discusses the demands of his j-o-b after the jump.)
Do people accost you and demand to know when the album is coming? Is that the number one question you're asked in the streets?
Yes, definitely. (Laughs.) But I have a release date, and I just released a mixtape, "May 25," which is the release date for the album. I titled it "May 25" to further brand the fact that the album is coming out May 25, and to prevent any pushbacks from happening. (Laughs.)
Mixtapes these days are complete albums more than anything - "May 25" is definitely more like a studio album. How hard is it to work on something like that while also finishing up "The Adventures of Bobby Ray?"
It's all about timing, timing is important. And there are a lotta things I have to say now and if I don't I'll just get numb to it. If I save it for the album, it won't be as exciting anymore.
So, were you going back and forth between creating for "May 25" and "The Adventures of Bobby Ray," or just making music and then deciding what went where?
It's more like a continuous stream of output of music, and I just filter through it, pick mixtape or album, or leakage - the songs [I make] just to leak.
Last year, one of the bloogers at 2Dope Boyz, Shake, one of the many people anxious for a B.o.B album, put together a "Should Have Been the First Album," project, collecting some of your finest work up to that point. How did you feel about that?
I definitely appreciated them putting their two cents in on the overall album situation and how people responded to it. It was good seeing that. It's crazy because I feel like, the way that people interact with your career, it's a lot more interactive now that the technology is so advanced - now everybody's a part of it.
You've really been on the hip-hop radar since 2007-2008, how do you feel about still being featured in magazines as an "up and comer" - do you think you're labeled that just because your label debut hasn't dropped yet?
It's still exciting. I used to be impatient, but now I'm in no rush at all. This is first time this is happening, I'm just enjoying the ride.