(B.o.B. on his joint album with T.I.)
By Dionne Buxton
On Tuesday night (November 29) the Bowery Ballroom in New York City was packed with fans waiting to catch a performance from Grand Hustle’s rising star B.o.B. Opening for Bobby Ray was Atlantic Record’s latest signee, Lauriana Mae, who was discovered during Diddy’s Starmaker series. As the tech crew prepped the stage, the crowd began to wonder if there would be another opening act. Keyboards, drums, guitars, and a singer pit—surely a rapper wouldn’t need all of this, right? But we were wrong.
A few minutes later, Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg introduced B.o.B., teasing the audience with the surprises that lay ahead. “All I’m gonna say is there are some special guests here tonight,” he said. Bobby Ray burst onto the stage performing “Batman Flow,” decked out in a gold-studded black leather jacket that matched his icy bottom row grill. “Soon as I enter you know who it is, it’s the representer from the east side of Atlanta,” he rapped, while his mixed crowd of fans repeated every word back to him.
When the music stopped for minute, his million dollar smile officially welcomed fans. B.o.B strapped on his guitar and played the next few songs mellowed out, while the crowd held their lighters and cell phones in the air. But, he wasn’t done showing off his instrumental capabilities, performing “Ghost In The Machine” on the keyboard, and “Don’t Let Me Fall” on the bass. With versatility, he jumped from crooning to spitting one of his earlier ALT-influenced singles, “Bet I Bust.”
Out of nowhere, T.I. joined him on stage, spitting his verse on the club banger. The energy in the room reached its peak, as the two exchanged verses on the stage. “This my lil bruh holding sh-t down, make some noise and thank you for your support of Grand Hustle,” Tip said. “Ay bruh, you matter if I holla at the people? Let me flex on these people right quick.”
The beat for T.I.’s recent single “I’m Flexin” dropped next. “NYC, it’s the King,” he announced enthusiastically, giving out high fives, and not missing a beat. He then asked the audience, “Ay homies how many chainz I got on?” “2 ccchhhaaiiiinnnzzz,” they replied, and obviously this is when 2Chainz joined them both on stage, performing, “Spend It.”
After all three performed together, it was almost time for Bobby Ray to finish his set, but not without a final message from big brother Tip. “It’s ATL m-th-f--k-, congratulations to the game, ATL is back.” The show eventually turned into an all out dance party, as B.o.B pulled screaming girls on stage to fist pump to his hit song “Magic.” As the audience and DJ continued to chant his name, he also performed his rock-influenced number one single “Airplanes.”
For his final track, B.o.B. performed “Strange Clouds”and ended the night with a simple,“Thank ya’ll so much.” The King and B.o.B shook hands, took pictures, and gave hugs as they made their way to the street.