B.o.B. continues to think outside the box with his sophomore album, Strange Clouds. Elements of various musical genres —from hip-hop to jazz to country— can be heard throughout. The singer, songwriter, rapper and producer skyrocketed to success with his two monster smashes “Nothin’ On You” and “Airplanes”, both crossover tracks that featured somewhat unlikely artists singing the hook (Bruno Mars and Hayley Williams, respectively). Based on how commercially successful each of these songs were, it seems as if B.o.B. is eager to try replicate their success, as he’s recruited a number of collaborators for tracks on his new album. Whether they are household names like Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, or newcomers like Lauriana Mae, the variety of artists on the album is quite impressive. We ranked each of the songs that feature other artists, and it’s not what you’d expect.
9. “Strange Clouds” feat. Lil Wayne – We don’t know what’s up with Weezy, but his flow hasn’t quite been the same since he got outta the joint. A song about partying, drinking and smoking all night has to have an element to it that makes the listener want to partake in the fun. We don’t know if it’s believable here.
8. “Out Of My Mind” feat. Nicki Minaj: We’re getting an outer space vibe on this one. And is it just us or did B.O.B. slightly sound like Ludacris? Either way, Nicki does what she does best on this track. She plays with different animated voices, she raps, she sings. Repeat. It’s fine, but it’s nothing transcendent.
7. “Arena” feat. Chris Brown and T.I.: It’s Chris Brown and T.I., folks! Not sure that much else needs to be written other than with this trio we’re certain it will be a fan favorite.
It’s an inspirational track, one that’s very reminiscent of last summer’s big hit for Eminem, Royce da 5’9″ and Bruno Mars, “Lighters.” Both songs feature a simple piano loop sitting on top of a thumping backbeat, lyrics about overcoming adversity, and a soaring vocal hook that is impossible to resist singing along with. “The Fighter” seems well-positioned to do well on this year’s Song Of The Summer charts, and seems like a no-brainer to be prominently featured during musical montages during the 2012 Summer Olympics.
We guess she wasn’t messing around when she sang, “Strong enough to bare the children / Then get back to business.” Momma Bear Beyoncé is taking no prisoners despite only having given birth to the adorable Blue Ivy Carter earlier this year. She’s already reportedly in talks for two new projects, both due in 2013. Songwriter, OneRepublic front man, and Beyoncé collaborator, Ryan Tedder, who wrote “Halo” for King B (and who is currently basking in the Grammy glow for his work with Adele on 21), has let slip that the yummy mommy has some new music in the works already. He told The Boombox that he was busy pitching songs about parenthood, which, “goes without saying.”
He also revealed, “The conversations about her next album literally just started and there [are] two projects happening. All I can say is you kind of feed her the best that you have and she’s this phenomenal filter and she takes it all in… She’s not interested in 2012, [she's interested in] what’s [going to sound good for] 2013… Without question she steers the ship. [With] Beyoncé, you just let her go, she’s ridiculous, she’s the best.” To say that we’re excited is an almost offensive understatement, and if we had some sort of time machine we’d definitely be skipping forward to the future so we could hear what the pair come up with for 2013.