B.o.B
Multi-talented artist B.o.B (born Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.) is a musical phenomenon. Not only can he play numerous instruments (including the piano, trumpet and guitar), but also has successfully been able to create his unique sound that fuses hip-hop, R&B, rock and pop into a cornucopia of amazing music that appeals to a vast audience. One could pinpoint his moment of success when his first single, “Nothin’ on You,” hit radio airwaves, propelling the Atlanta, GA musician into global fame with millions of adoring fans, but he thinks otherwise.“I used to sell candy in high school and there was a point where I was making more money than what my dad was bringing home from work,” he details. “I thought to myself, ‘Damn, if I could do that, then I can make anything else I wanted happen.’ That’s when I realized I was successful. Everything else just happened to follow because of that moment.”

But even before he began to hustle candy in his teens, B.o.B’s dedication and motivation developed as a child, growing up in an unfinished home that his father was building after getting evicted from the family’s prior residence. “There were no exterior walls, doors or windows…basically, we were camping for a couple of years before it was ultimately finished,” he vividly recalls.

It was that experience that sculpted me to be the artist I am today. It’s that motivation you have when you’re living in a situation you want to get out of tremendously that develops character. That brought out everything a musician would need to make it in this industry.“It was definitely an interesting place to be in as a kid, but that’s where everything came from. It was that experience that sculpted me to be the artist I am today. It’s that motivation you have when you’re living in a situation you want to get out of tremendously that develops character. That brought out everything a musician would need to make it in this industry.”

B.o.B.

And like the determined person he is, it was in sixth grade that B.o.B decided he wanted to pursue a music career. With the help and support from his parents, he started making beats. He later sold his first beat to former Slip-n-Slide artist Citti, which he says further peaked his interest in music.

Like every up-and-coming artist, B.o.B worked the independent scene, doing free mixtapes, promoting his work online on sites like MySpace (“back when it was jumping,” he notes) and doing any and all gigs he could to gain exposure. He even played at one of the DUB Show Tour stops back in 2007 during his underground days. But all his hustle and grind finally paid off in 2008. Gracing covers of XXL and Vibe, with subtitles identifying him as the next promising artist to look out for.

The debut of his first album in 2010, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, was the pivotal point and biggest accomplishment (to date) of his life. “That’s when the world discovered who I was, and it was such an incredible and indescribable feeling. It obviously changed my life in a major way, and nothing I have now would be possible without that album. It opened the doorway for me to be able to afford all of my eccentric hobbies like collecting guitars, hats and guns, and allowed me the type of income to drive around in my Lamborghini.”

I wasn’t gonna go out and blow all this cash on a huge watch or expensive jewelry as other rappers tend to do and got this Lambo instead.The black Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder was B.o.B’s first purchase after he dropped his highly anticipated second studio album, Strange Clouds, in early 2012. “I wasn’t gonna go out and blow all this cash on a huge watch or expensive jewelry as other rappers tend to do and got this Lambo instead. I told myself, ‘Why not? You’ve worked hard for a year recording your album.’ So I figured I’d treat myself to a fine ride.”

B.o.B.

The matte black Gallardo Spyder is B.o.B’s “beast,” and he confesses that he was a bit nervous when he first drove it because he didn’t’ want to mess it up. Currently opting for speed and style or comfort, he wanted his Lambo to be both sleek and stylish, so he added a set of color-matched wheels, smoked-out the taillights, and had a custom audio system installed by Butler Tire.

“It’s one of those cars that you put the pedal down and it blows,” he laughs. “There’s absolutely no delay and as soon as you press the gas pedal, you’re off!” He adds that the fastest he’s gone is 130 mph, but wouldn’t mind increasing that number on the right highway.

Besides his Gallardo Spyder, B.o.B also has a Lincoln Navigator (also blacked-out) that he uses to get around town or hit up the ATL’s prominent Tree Sound Studios—one of his favorite places. The studio has it all, from recording booths to a rock climbing wall, arcade games and even a pool table, making it his second home.

“Tree Sound has this zen-type of feel to it,” he describes. “It definitely brings out my hippie side. But there’s this special essence to the place that really makes me comfortable and allows my creativity to just flow.”

Currently working on his next album, B.o.B has been spending a lot of time at Tree Sound Studios, banging out new music that his fans are already craving. In a different “zone” than previous projects, he’s looking to really open up on this upcoming release. “I’m not afraid to talk about what I like doing and want to really change things up a bit. Artists sometimes feel pressure to be the same person their whole career, and I’m not like that. I am not the same person I was two years ago and in two years, I’m not going to be the same person I’m right now, so why should my music?” He’s also aware that in the process, he might turn off some current B.o.B fans who like his previous tunes, but is looking forward to diversifying his fan base with those who will appreciate his new music.

“But the main thing that will never change is that I will approach my music with honesty and the best intentions to make it as good as possible,” he adds. “If it’s not good and I’m not jamming to it, then it won’t be released.”

Although he won’t reveal any definite details about new tracks, he does admit that he’s bringing back more “rawness” to whatever he does next, similar to what was heard during his mixtape days. “I’m really getting back to my comfort zone and my element of that hunger I had when I was just coming up. As an artist, you try to stay that hungry throughout your career. It’s hard because you work so much so you don’t have to go back to the days when you were struggling, but at the same time you want to have that hungry passion when you were going through those difficult times. Staying motivated and not complacent is what it’s really about.”

With that mindset, B.o.B looks to soon expand his talents and enter Hollywood, a goal he already knows isn’t going to come easy. “The thing that makes life interesting is challenging yourself to do different things. I can’t act, but just the thought of pursuing that goal and accomplishing it is so thrilling for me. It’s how I’ve approached everything else and look at me now.”

 

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via: dub