Hip-Hop Block Reviews “B.O.B. Versus Bobby Ray” a mixtape by Bobby Ray
Musical Artist, Bobby Ray Simmons is visible proof that hard work pays off when it comes to the hip-hop scene. Signed to Grand Hustle Records, a record label started by Clifford Harris Jr. (T.I.), Bobby Ray is finally getting some exposure three years later after making the cover of XXL magazine’s top ten freshman rappers for 2009.
Formerly known as B.O.B., Ray has been a hometown favorite as majority of the backpack rappers who made the XXL cover such as Wale, Kid Cudi, Asher Roth, and Mickey Factz. With the advancements of technology and the Internet, it is easier to create a web-based audience and these rappers are doing just that.
But not everyone with a microphone, up-tempo dance-invoking beat, stylish fashion sense, ingenious wordplay, a swagger like rappers T.I. and Andre 3000 (half of the rap duo Outkast), and an Internet connection can truly consider themselves a rapper.
Looking at Kid Cudi and B.O.B., hip-hoppers can conclude that the rap game is something you have to be built for. Kid Cudi announced that his debut album would be his last due to the stress that comes from being famous. B.O.B. did just the same thing as he announced he would retire as well.
After deep contemplation, neither rapper is going to retire anytime soon; in fact, B.O.B. has retired B.O.B. as his stage name and has adopted his new alias—Bobby Ray. With his mixtape “B.O.B. vs Bobby Ray” we see the two egos battling one another. This isn’t the first time hip-hop heads have seen this done though. Rappers Cassidy and TI have done it as well; however, this fight proves to be a cinematic one to the end!
On the first half of the mixtape, B.O.B. presents himself as a worthy opponent; however, Bobby Ray is the carefree and free-spirited individual that we see break out of B.O.B. and we truly see artistic expression where music genres clash so much listeners can’t only dub it hip-hop, but also hip-pop!
So what else sets him apart from any other bored poet looking to cash in on the limelight and women that encompasses success—A diligent attitude.
Learning music throughout his elementary years, Bob has learned to produce sounds that flow to create his own aural and oral persona. Creating hip-hop beats for the low-key names in rap, he caught the attention of rapper T.I. fresh out of high school. From then on, he has created four rap mixtapes since 2007 that eventually earned him a spot on T.I.’s recently double-platinum album. However, this still posed questions in mainstream and underground rappers’ minds—“Who the F*ck is Bob” which just so happens to be the title of his second to last mixtape.
Also, coming from Atlanta, Georgia with a distinctive sound, Bobby Ray is a one of one especially when you think of other Atlanta sounds such as Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy, etc.
With no further ado, I would like to take you deep into the world and mind of music so unearthly; it could only be done by an ATLien!
Pressing play on the computer, iPod, or any other music playing devices, you feel as though you are at a movie screening as the B.O.B. talks his trash and we are graced by a funky freestyle.
Patron and Swag
“I try to grow freely but they hold me to my past/Sayin’ the music that I’m making doesn’t appeal to the mass/hmm, what am I to do about that/ when the syndicated radio is only playin’ trash”
B.O.B. ends the freestyle basically saying, don’t blame it on the kids when all the radio echoes back is “patron and swag, patron and swag.” B.O.B. is also addressing the fact that conscious rap doesn’t get any airplay on the radio, something the Internet rapper face everyday.
Change Gone Come
Graced by featuring artist Asher Roth and Charles Hamilton (both of whom made the XXL top ten list), B.O.B. talks about the upcoming changes in rap. They aren’t rapping to have haters, they rap because they are talented and to pay the bills.
“You only mad at yourself here’s a tissue/but that ain’t even my focus,man that hate ain’t on my menu/I’m in a different city about to rock another venue/my girl sent me a text message just to say I miss you/It won’t be long before I’m home the rent’s due.”
Now on the Bobby Ray side of the mixtape, we see his persona surface and there is a major and noticeable change in the music.
This sound is so trippy! Your ears will play tricks on your eyes! Bobby Ray at its finest not only grabs your ears attention; however, it makes everything even seem different visually.
“I think I’m trippin- trippin’ trippin’ to the flo’/feelin’ different, much more different than befo’/Yea I’m trippin. From the ceiling to the flo’/feelin’ different because I’m trippin’ to the flo’ flo’ flo’.”
That’s just the chorus, but just make sure you don’t trip over those two left feet grooving to the beat!”
This mixtape can get you through anything—homework, a bus ride to work, a cab ride downtown, post-game study sessions, the shower—anything!
Everytime we look in the mirror we see something we don’t like. B.O.B. looked in the mirror saw himself, didn’t like it, so he made it better. The Bobby Ray side of the mixtape shows us as people that there’s always room for improvement.
Keep Hip-Hop Alive!