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In semi defense of B.o.B.

For the three or four dudes on my formspring wanting to know, yeah, I finally did hear that song B.o.B. did with Eminem and Hayley Williams, the chick from Paramore. It came on the satellite radio in my van the other day when I was on my way back from getting a burrito. I started to change the station, when I saw it was B.o.B., but then I remembered that this was the one I was supposed to check out.

People must have thought I would appreciate it, because it sounds just like those songs Jedi Mind Tricks did with Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond. I was all about those songs, back in like ’06. I was reminded of them recently when I downloaded a mixtape by Vinnie Paz, which I guess was intended to promote this solo album he’s got coming out. I thought it might have some exclusive shit, like freestyles over songs that are already popular, songs from the new album and what have you, but come to find out it’s just a repackaging of shit from the last few Jedi Mind Tricks and AotP albums. It could just be some shit some guy threw together, like that fat white guy who tours with Ghostface, who once explained to XXL (this was a while back) how he’s allowed to use the dreaded n-word. But the cool part about it is that saves me from having to do any extra work, or, god forbid, spend any money to listen to, say, the song where he’s suddenly so concerned with body-image issues.

“Airplanes,” as it turns out, is right up my alley. No homo. Is it as good as those Jedi Mind Tricks songs that it so clearly ripped off? Of course not. But there’s certainly worse things you could listen to on Shade 45. Like, almost everything else that’s ever come on Shade 45. Get rid of the part with B.o.B., and it would have been a much better lead single for the new Eminem album than that shit he dropped the other day. (I can’t even remember what it’s called anymore.) I mean, the rapping was cool, but the rest of it I could have done without. He was obviously trying to rip off Drake, singing his own chorus, and even bringing in the dude who produced “Best I Ever Had.” He shoulda just had Drake do the chorus. Or brought in a white chick, since apparently you can do that now. No but really, as much as I enjoyed “Airplanes,” I’m surprised so many black dudes claim to enjoy it. I’m surprised they even play it on hip-hop stations. (Except that they’re probably ordered to.) It hardly even sounds like rap music.

I joked once, either on Twitter or maybe here, that that song “Nothing on You” is as gay as a three-dollar bill. I’d just seen the video, which looks like – and, for all we know, might actually be – a commercial for a new line of khaki pants from Old Navy. And why is that gay Puerto Rican kid who sings the chorus dressed like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky V (when he had to move back to the ghetto)? And while I still more or less stand by that statement, you have to admit that both “Nothing on You” and “Airplanes” are ridonkulously well produced, for what they are. They’re not my kind of thing, but if you’re cynical enough to pull some shit like that, and it’s that well executed, you probably should make a shedload of money. It at least means the economy is doing well. The late, great Noz might call you the biggest sellout in the history of selling out, or something to that effect, but who gives a shit what he thinks? I’m starting to wonder if he even has a very strong grasp on LCD rap. He claims to like that song B.o.B. did with T.I. (as I’m sure the TIs intended), but I’m at a loss for how B.o.B. is so much better in that context than he is anywhere else. He seems just as lame to me. He’s just wearing a more authentically black outfit in the video.

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