Before his debut album, B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, hits shelves on April 27, B.o.B. is excited to hit the road with labelmate Lupe Fiasco. Their nationwide tour kicks off this Friday (March 5) in Claremont, California.
The pair first met in the hallway of Atlantic Records in New York City. Given their similar unconventional style, their chemistry in the studio was instant.
“We got in the studio first and then we started doing show dates together and then it kind of evolved into a full out tour,” B.o.B told VIBE last week. “I’m actually excited because I’ve just been performing mixtape songs for the past year. I’m ready to do some new material.”
While video of the Atlanta newcomer performing his album cut, “Yesterday,” has already hit the Web, he also plans on premiering a few other tracks on stage, including “Go Through the Machine” and “Letter From Vietnam,” which is inspired by a true story.
“‘Letter from Vietnam’ is a song that I wrote [when] I was doing some research, digging up old Vietnam War stories. I was reading about Agent Orange and different stories,” said B.o.B. “I came across this note where this guy was trying to write to his girlfriend in the states and he never heard from her. A few months [later], he got the note back from her cousin saying that she got remarried.”
Both he and Lupe have recorded songs for each other’s projects—one on Lupe’s upcoming Lasers, as well as the Bobby Ray track, “Past My Shades.”
“It’s basically about [how] you can’t see past my shades, whether it’s shades, like literal, or figurative, like persona, reflection,” said B.o.B. of the song, adding that he and Lupe have a special camaraderie.
“We’re definitely like brothers. We both are basically taking our current positions and trying to catapult to something new. But it’s really outside of the box what we’re trying to catapult into.” he said. “I feel like I’m going in the direction of a more hybrid classical hip-hop rock composition and he’s going more so into a drum and bass type of hip-hop music with Japanese rock.”
Producers on Bobby Ray include Jim Jonsin, Dr. Luke, B.o.B. and his Grand Hustle mentor T.I., who produced “Fifth Dimension.” —Clover Hope