Not that it’s a new trend, but rappers lately have been taking on the pitfalls of fame in song — like Eminem’s “Not Afraid,” Kid Cudi’s “My World” and Drake’s “Over.” Like those latter two, B.o.B. is only one album into his career, and his second single “Airplanes” with Paramore’s Hayley Williams addresses the same rags-to-riches plight.
The video keeps abstract, mixing traditional stage lighting and open studio space with high-tech effects and a certain camera company product placement (hell, I’m not getting paid for it, so why should I mention it?). The result is a respectfully unbloated, visually stimulating, somber clip, with Williams’ appearance as a guest vocalist treated mindfully as just that, and not as the token tart or Bobby Ray’s accessory with multiple costume changes.
There’s another “Pt. 2” version featuring Em, too, floating around out there, but Marshall Mathers has been fairly busy lately with his own promotional efforts in advance of “Recovery.”
“Airplanes” has flown up to No. 2 on the Hot 100 chart so far, but sits at No. 3, with a bullet, so far this week. B.o.B.’s “The Adventures of Bobby Ray” entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1.