Fame sure has a way of changing people, and on his new single, Bobby Ray and his alter ego B.o.B duke it out for four-and-a-half minutes.
"Where Are You (B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray)" opens with a lush piano melody, which builds and gives way into spacey synth sounds, a doo-wop-inspired background melody and a pounding bass drum. With the beat in full swing, B.o.B wastes no time confronting his issues when he raps, "Whatever happened to Bobby Ray? He used to be here for us/ Then he got famous and left all his fans in the dust."
B.o.B continues to rhyme in third person, lamenting on the changes that fame brings. World tours and taxing studio sessions have clearly affected Bob's relationship with his family and his fans, whom he now seems distant from. "I never thought you would sell out, you're becoming so cocky/ I asked you for a picture after your show, you walked right by me," he raps before referencing fan-favorite songs like "Cloud 9" and "Generation Lost."
The internal conflict that B.o.B presents is similar to the one that his Grand Hustle CEO T.I. rapped about on his 2003 cut "T.I. vs. T.I.P." T.I.'s track, however, centers on the tumultuous street life he once lived before his rise as a rap star.
Sonically, B.o.B's selection, which will appear on his upcoming May 1 album, Strange Clouds, comes off as an endearing self-reflection. Ultimately it proves that the rap star can't be too far gone if he realizes where he has gone wrong.
The song release comes just a day after Bob's label revealed the cover art for his Strange Clouds LP. The album art shows Bobby Ray in a chic peacoat holding his temples while standing under a hovering cloud. Then, to drum up even more excitement, Warner Music Group will be premiering the video for B.o.B's "So Good" single Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET.
What do you think of "Where Are You (B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray)"? Tell us in the comments!