B.o.B recently participated in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview in Los Angeles. The GRAMMY-nominated rapper/songwriter discussed technology's effect on music, the "business" of collaborating with other artists and putting on his "producer hat," among other topics.
"I think because technology has progressed to the point where anybody can make music, you don't have to save up and buy a tape machine and a studio," said B.o.B. "Because we're able to do more, we have to push the envelope of music — not just forward, but upward and to the side and three-dimensionally."
Born Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., B.o.B emerged on the Atlanta hip-hop scene with the release of his 2006 mixtape, Cloud 9, which subsequently led to a deal with GRAMMY winner T.I.'s Grand Hustle label under the Atlantic Records umbrella. B.o.B's debut studio album, 2010's B.o.B Presents: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the chart-topping hit "Nothin' On You" featuring GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars. The Adventures Of Bobby Ray garnered B.o.B five GRAMMY nominations for 2010, including Best Rap Album and Record Of The Year for "Nothin' On You," as well as Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals honors for "Airplanes, Part II" with Paramore's Hayley Williams and GRAMMY winner Eminem.
In 2012 B.o.B's sophomore album, Strange Clouds, peaked at No. 5 and featured collaborations with GRAMMY winners Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift, and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, among others. B.o.B's latest album, 2013's Underground Luxury, peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Top Rap Albums chart.
B.o.B is currently featured on the soundtrack to the upcoming film Rio 2, collaborating with fellow GRAMMY nomniee Ester Dean on "Rio Rio." He is currently in the midst of an international tour, with select dates scheduled through July.