In his third widely received mixtape, May 25th, B.o.B. continues his funky style, which seamlessly intertwines rapping and singing over undeniably southern beats. The mixtape, which lyrically falls short, is still a strong precursor to his first major album B.o.B. Presents the Adventures of Bobby Ray, which will be released by Grand Hustle on May 25.
The Atlanta rapper combines the smooth demeanor of T.I. with the creative sensitivity of KiD CuDi. It is within this dichotomy B.o.B. thrives. He doesn't wear you down with overly shallow southern songs predicated on bass heavy beats, nor does he sing pop melodies devoid of hip-hop credibility. B.o.B.'s greatest talent and the reason he will be a household name is his ability to blend these contradictory styles. The result is one-of-a-kind songs, such as "Out of Time," which features a heavy drum bass, guitar, rapping and singing.
May 25th contains a plethora of talent including other up-and-coming artists, such as J. Cole and Charles Hamilton. The fire power is at its highest for the best track on the album, "Fuck the Money." The song, produced by Kanye West, samples Joni Mitchell's "River" for an up-tempo beat. The track features rapper Asher Roth, and their voices blend nicely over the gorgeous sample as they rap about the tribulations of money and fame.
As is the nature of mixtapes, this isn't an album you will listen to straight through. But mixed with the bad songs are some high quality and unique tracks very similar to the type of music that will be on B.o.B.'s debut album.