Currently opening for Lupe Fiasco on the Steppin Laser tour, B.o.B. stepped out to headline his own intimate solo gig last night (April 12) at SOB’s in New York City.
The sold-out crowd, which included the likes of KRS-One and Jay Electronica, looked on as Bobby Ray delivered a study in eclecticism, energizing the crowd throughout as he ripped through his diverse catalog.
Much-maligned Charles Hamilton marked his return to the limelight first, with a short set that included “Loser,” “Brooklyn Girls,” and a freestyle over Just Blaze’s instrumental for “Exhibit C” where CH rapped, “Guess what? It’s my year in the rap biz.”
The statement might be more accurate coming from the evening’s headliner, who recently hit the million sales mark for his hit “Nothin’ On You,” the lead single from his upcoming The Adventures of Bobby Ray. However, B.o.B. began his set with older favorites like “Mellow Fellow,” “Haterz Everywhere,” and “On Top of The World,” his collaboration with Grand Hustle boss T.I.
Stepping outside of the rap realm, B.o.B. then picked up a guitar for his more rock-tinged efforts, including “Wonderland,” “Out of Time,” and “No Man’s Land.” With the help of his buoyant backing band, the 2009 XXL Freshman alum managed to keep the crowd bouncing until the mellow closer, “Nothin’ On You,” which was met with singalongs from the females in the attendance. [Watch below]
The 21-year-old then walked offstage, his set seemingly over. However, with a section of the crowd left off stage clamoring for more, he stopped short on his way to the dressing room, returning for an encore specially designed for the NY crowd. The ATLien offered fans his remakes of East Coast classics “Shook Ones Pt. II” and “Bonita Applebum.”
B.o.B.’s debut album The Adventures of Bobby Ray hits stores on April 27. —Devin Chanda