Last Tuesday was a special day for us at TSS. B.o.B’s debut effort hit stores and became the #1 album in the country. This was particularly notable as Bobby has been an artist that we’ve followed and written on for two years. As I mentioned before, our efforts to share his music with you didn’t go unnoticed, as TSS was thanked in The Adventures of Bobby Ray’s liner notes. For us, this is a huge acknowledgment as it’s the first time we’ve been mentioned on the liner notes of a retail album. So we must doff our caps to B.o.B and his team for the recognition.
It’s been a joy to watch B. Rich, TJ, Playboy Tre and Bobby ascend to their proper place in music, but let’s not get it twisted, we’ve supported Bobby first and foremost because the music has been fantastic throughout.
Because a few of you have only recently become fans, we thought we’d take you back on a journey through our two years of Bobby Ray coverage so you can witness his rise to prominence ass seen through the TSS lenses. For those of you who have followed Mr. Ray since the beginning, this should be a welcome trip down memory lane.
April 2008 — While we’d posted a few mixtapes in the Strays prior, our very first write-up on B.o.B came two years to the day before Adventures of Bobby Ray came out. Gotty™ shared “Fuck You” off of B.o.B’s What About B.o.B mixtape.
June 2008 — TC followed up in by showcasing B.o.B’s 12th Dimension EP, a collection of four bangers that stayed in rotation.
October 2008 — One song from that EP, “I’ll Be In The Sky” caught MZ’s attention. The song also landed B.o.B his first MTV video. I still argue that if “I’ll Be In The Sky” were re-released today, it’d be another top song in the country. But what do I know?
December 2008 — We had our very first Smoking Session with B.o.B as Lola P. sat down with the budding star to discuss his prospects for the future and the possible toll fame takes on a newcomer.
March 2009 — For our very first GOP, we wanted to highlight someone we were sure was going to be the next big thing as our headliner. The natural pick was B.o.B and he did not disappoint. For most of the crew, it was our first time seeing the man live, and doing so only further convinced us that we were watching a future star.
June 2009 — To carry on the momentum from SXSW, B.o.B dropped his biggest project yet, B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray: The Mixtape. This project showed tremendous growth, whetting the world’s appetite for the eventual album.
September 2009 — As B.o.B-mania was starting to take flight, I caught up with the man himself in Chicago to talk about his performing style, rumors of label troubles and a possible T.I. and Coldplay collaboration. Despite all the fame Bobby was gaining, he was still the humble, jovial cat I met in Austin a few months prior.
January 2010 — Grades were in. B.o.B proved to be top of his XXL freshman class, scoring an A for a stellar year that would only be a precursor for his whirlwind year ahead.
February 2010 — Back when the album was supposed to drop in May, Bob and LRG teamed with DJ Drama to drop the May 25th mixtape which featured an early version of “Bet I” and “Don’t Feel So Good,” a song that helped MZ get through a particularly difficult evening.
April 2010 — It was only fitting that we’d be there at the 11th hour, capturing B.o.B’s excitement and anticipation just 24 hours before his album landed in stores. It was a special moment and one that we at TSS were happy to be a part of.
Beyond — Though it’s been a two-year journey watching B.o.B get to where he is now, don’t think that it’s over. As long as he keeps cranking out music that moves us, we will keep writing on him and keeping his name and music on your minds.