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VIBE Feb/March Cover Story: B.o.B (Pg. 3)

 While Adventures of Bobby Ray is not as un-urban as when Andre 3000 decides to sing, it’s still a straightforward hip-pop record—the arrangements, the soft drums, the layered vocals on the choruses and the guitar solos make Andre’s The Love Below seem modest in comparison. More often than not, the genre-stripping and mixing works, which is exactly why some of his earliest supporters may be stuck playing catch-up.

T.I. says he keeps a hands-off approach to B.o.B.’s music but he’s there to guide him wherever guidance is needed. “We bounced ideas of theories and logic back and forth,” he said. “At the end of the day, he came up with this: He cares a lot at some times and a little bit at other times.”

BOBBY RAY IS ON THE verge of being all things to all fans. As one of music’s rising stars, he’s feeling the age-old growing pains of a genuine artist—urban? pop? alternative?—made to create art that is also product. You can’t blame some folks for thinking that, maybe somewhere along the way to selling millions of records and necklaces and, again, earbuds, Bobby Ray might have “sold out,” or lost a part of himself in his own evolution.

“I come up with B.o.B, so I’m more in tune with him,” says Willie Joe, the Atlanta-by-way-of-Vallejo, Calif., rapper who created B.o.B’s stage name by offhandedly spelling out his name one night. But even Willie Joe has much to learn. “I’m getting to know Bobby Ray more and more as we go. I appreciate Bobby Ray at the same time, I know why he’s here. The people that have been loyal since the first mixtapes and they’re saying that he went pop, I don’t think they fully understand the music industry and how it works.”

Time and again he has refused to reach for the obvious crossover move. When he was tapped as one of the artists to promote Reebok’s Classic Remix Collection in 2009, he recorded “Put Me On,” transforming A Tribe Called Quest’s “Bonita Applebum” into a song about being in the moment, manifesting his dreams and self-expression. He actually used those New Age-y terms with a straight face, while simultaneously talking about his kicks. He also passed on the chance to record a song called “Right Round,” even though he knew it was a hit. It just wasn’t the hit that he wanted to make.

“When it comes to decisions like that, it’s not necessarily whether it’s a hit or not,” he says. “From the label standpoint they’re feeling like, ‘We’re trying to give you a hit record and you don’t want it?’ But from an artist standpoint you may not just want to go in that direction.”

When Flo Rida’s version of the song was released in 2009, it broke the record for first-week digital sales with 636,000 paid downloads, and topped charts across the board. “When it popped off, I wasn’t like, ‘Damn!’ because I didn’t want to do it,” B.o.B insists. “It’s not even a knock on any artist. I respect every artist who is completely dedicated to the music business. Not necessarily just the music, but the music business. I may not go in a certain direction that the label may want to go in, but that’s life.”

For B.o.B’s part, he says his conscience is clear—his music is still art, and his business is important. “As an artist, you take a gamble when you are willing to completely compromise the business side of music for the art when you’re trying to make a living off of music,” he says. “Some artists aren’t in it for the artistry—which is absolutely fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. If I got into the business of selling refrigerators, I’m selling refrigerators to make money. I’m not selling refrigerators because I just love the idea of refrigerators.”

Before he falls too far on one side, he teeters on the line and shifts direction. “I’m not a corporate rapper,” B.o.B says. “My loyalty is not to any corporation, my loyalty is to the music. That doesn’t mean that I don’t work with corporations, it doesn’t mean that I don’t sell music—it just means that first I’m an artist, regardless of anything.”

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Producer J. White Defends Iggy Azalea Amidst 'Copied Beat' Claims

The Internet has been comparing the beat of Iggy Azalea’s latest song “Sally Walker” to that of another female rapper's hit- Cardi B’s “Money.” J. White Did It, who is famous for producing hits for both MCs including the aforementioned tracks, chimed in on the endless comparisons. “Iggy Azalea really went in studio and said to producers, 'You heard that Cardi record Money yea make me one too,'" one Twitter user wrote, to which the producer commented, “Actually that’s false.” Many sided with the Grammy-nominated producer, adding that the beat wasn’t stolen considering J. White made both of the songs. “My heart hurts that y’all people are so idiot [sic],” another wrote. “SAME PRODUCER. SAME PRODUCER CANT STEAL HIS OWN BEAT. Y’all people are dumb or what?” Azalea congratulated Cardi on her Grammy Award win for Best Rap Album back in February, writing “Super happy to see a female rapper win a Grammy, you dominated 2018 girl & @JWhiteDidIT congratulations to you too!” There certainly isn’t any beef between the two, so let’s not start any. “Sally Walker” has been getting favorable reviews since its release last week (Mar. 14). Its funeral-style video has over 20 million views as of press time. Take a look and listen below.

Actually that’s false https://t.co/KoK7RxeJht

— JWhiteDIDIT (@JWhiteDidIT) March 17, 2019

Right!! https://t.co/lvgeYNQ4Rw

— JWhiteDIDIT (@JWhiteDidIT) March 17, 2019

My heart hurts that y’all people are so idiot. SAME PRODUCER. SAME PRODUCER CANT STEAL HIS OWN BEAT. Y’all people are dumb or what? Now stop complaining but go stream Sally Walker. @IGGYAZALEA @JWhiteDidIT pic.twitter.com/icwktxQXjo

— .⚰️ (@NoMiddleBitch) March 20, 2019

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Maxine Waters Comments On College Admissions Scandal

In light of the recent college admissions scandal where affluent families were caught administering bribes for their children to get into specific colleges, Maxine Waters shared her opinion on this example of wealth and privilege.

“I am heartbroken and disgusted by the lying and cheating of the ultra-rich parents," Waters said. "And their allies who orchestrated an egregious college admissions scheme and robbed highly qualified students of the opportunity to attend elite universities."

The U.S. representative went on to celebrate the investigation that led to the discovery of more than $25 million dollars between 2011 to 2018 paid to William Rick Singer, a college admissions counselor who reportedly misrepresented students by forging standardized tests and a student's athletic abilities.

"I applaud the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, federal prosecutors, and the nearly 200 federal agents nationwide who exposed the lies and toxic privilege leveraged by wealthy elites to buy their children admittance into selective colleges," Waters continued.

The California rep went on to offer her support to minority students who experience discrimination during their application process. The 80-year-old congresswoman promised to one day make education accessible for all.

“There should be no toll or tax on one’s path to success besides hard work. I stand with students across this country—particularly those from minority, low-income, and rural communities—who have been unfairly denied admission to elite universities as well as the students who have filed a class action lawsuit against the schools named by federal prosecutors. I will not stop until we have an education system that is accessible, affordable, and equitable for all—not some.”

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Logic Announces 'Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind' Album, Debuts New Song

Logic has been keeping himself busy since his last two projects, YSIV, and Bobby Tarantino II dropped in 2018. Now after preparing for the release of his debut novel "Supermarket," which is slated for release on March 26, the 29-year-old is readying his forthcoming project Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind and unveiled a new single in support of the soundscape.

Just around the corner 📸 - @jflei

A post shared by Logic (@logic) on Mar 15, 2019 at 1:33pm PDT

The "Everybody Dies" rapper's bloody teaser track serves as the first look into the album's vibe, accompanying a haunting new video where Logic is seen bleeding out from a neck injury as he raps, smokes and loads a gun. The track, which urges listeners to put their "ego on the shelf," is a lyrical experience that comments on drug use, suicide, depression, and the expectation from others that ruin one's self-esteem.

I wrote this one in Blood pic.twitter.com/pCi5VrSha9

— Bobby Billboard (@Logic301) March 19, 2019

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