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B.o.B Performs at Notre Dame

Miko Malabute | Thursday, April 25, 2013



Scene Writer

B.o.B, or “Bobby Ray,” is coming to South Bend. Tonight. As this year’s Student Union Board (SUB) concert, hip-hop star B.o.B’s performance promises to be an energetic and absolutely vibrant atmosphere in Compton Family Ice Arena, with a no-holds-barred type of attitude towards his passion. 

The southern Grand Hustle rapper has been through so much already in his relatively short career – so much struggle, so much role-reversal, and so much success. In seven years, B.o.B has tried to fit several rap stereotypes, from the “thuggish Atlanta” with “Haterz Everywhere,” to his more natural niche of the quirky, atypical singer-rapper that has propelled the B.o.B we know to fame as he produced the mainstream hit, “B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray.” This album which featured the well-known singles, “Beautiful Girls,” “Don’t Let Me Fall,” “Nothin’ on You,” and – of course – “Magic.”

However, obviously this wasn’t always the case. His success didn’t come to him overnight, as the man so eloquently describes in his song “Airplanes”: “Before it ever mattered what I had in my bank / Yeah, back when I was tryin’ to get a tip at Subway / And back when I was rappin’ for the hell of it.” Before he ‘made it,’ B.o.B battled through anonymity and hip-hop mediocrity, where he released mixtape after mixtape just to gain a foothold in the hip-hop scene. As a matter of fact, two of his four mixtapes released voiced his own struggle for fame and recognition, as both were titled “Hi! My Name is B.o.B” and “Who the F#*k is B.o.B?,” both released in 2008. In a year such as 2008 which was dominated by rappers and singers the likes of Lil Wayne and Chris Brown, who could even begin to spare the tiniest bit of attention away from these musical powerhouses and direct it towards a relative no-name, B.o.B

Yet B.o.B persevered. His own drive and distinguished musical style, which he admitted was heavily influenced by “80’s music, techno, rock, funk, even doo-wop,” continued to put his name out onto the music scene. It was from there that he gained his fame, notably marked by his inclusion in XXL’s freshman class of 2009, along with hip-hop standouts Wale, Asher Roth, and Charles Hamilton. 

Before we knew it, his freshman debut album, “B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” was an absolute standout, so much so that even a casual listener such as myself could not help but hear the majority of the album from any – and seemingly every – radio station. 

And it’s not hard to understand why. He has a very versatile skill set of musical abilities, everything from rapper to crooner, which only helps to please a diverse audience. A quick YouTube search of “B.o.B live performances” shows a large array of different performing styles, where B.o.B tenderly sings “Don’t Let Me Fall” while strumming away on his guitar, and another with him absolutely vibing with the crowd in an emotional and strong live performance in “Airplanes.”

So, a multifaceted performance from B.o.B tonight, April 26th should not be too hard to imagine. Even from the beginning, he’s had a knack for knowing how to approach each song – with it’s own respective style and ambiance – with the right amount of energy and passion. 

B.o.B performs tonight at Compton Family Ice Center at 6:30. 

Contact Miko Malabute at mmalabut@nd.edu