B.o.B. Tributes O.D.B. & Bumrushes The Set To Shame Fake Rappers (Video)

In the mid-2000s, Decatur, Georgia teenager B.o.B. was one of Hip-Hop’s most exciting and versatile voices. With a stylized name inspired by an OutKast Stankonia single, sang, he played guitar, he produced, and the protege of hit-making producer Jim Jonsin could certainly rap. Early mixtape standout “Haters” took everybody by storm, and ultimately led Bobby Ray to a deal with Atlantic Records, courtesy of T.I.’s booming Grand Hustle imprint.

A decade ago, B.o.B. topped the charts before his album, thanks to Bruno Mars-assisted “Nothin’ On You.” 2010’s The Adventures Of Bobby Ray also topped the Pop charts, and a nimble MC quickly marched into the mainstream as a fast-rising household name. Platinum plaques and a plethora of Pop collaborations followed. For many fans, B.o.B. seemed to depart from the core audience who touted him so feverishly in the mid-aughts.

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However, B.o.B. has kept his roots intact. He recently dropped a surprise homage to Wu-Tang Clan’s O.D.B. in the form of appropriately titled latest single, “Ol’ Dirty Bastard.” The track is a rework of “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” with O.D.B.’s voice sampled throughout, as well as a nod to Wu’s “Shame On A Ni**a.” While sporting a gold grill and decked out in an outfit fitting for stomping the ’90s Shaolin lands, B.o.B. scoffs at today’s Rap fakes, phonies, and clowns.

Bobby Ray takes shots at contemporaries: “Think about the game and what it could be / If all these ni**as pay producers how they pay for p*ssy / Serious what you took me / A crook is how you’re lookin’ / All these rappers cookie-cutter / Rockin’ crop-tops and c*ochie-cutters / Long way from drop-tops and Coogi sweaters / I’m in between two different eras, though / You, and you, and you, and you, and you are all identical / F*ck the clone, I can’t even tell who the original / Mandela effect, I can not remember you / As far as conscious rappers go, I do what they pretend to do / So what have you assumed? / How a pop n*gga got the biggest nuts in the room.

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Then, he gets specific. “How you, how you conscious running for Congress / Ain’t this the system that put your people in b*ndage? / Ain’t this the system that sprinkled diseases on the original people / Gave us a book and a steeple, got ni**as hooked on the needle / And drug money casino money / We don’t ever see no money / Unless, of course, you got a degree or something / From the school that the elite funded / Okay, you need a degree to make digits / You work your whole life to pay back tuition / By the time you retire, all of your four children / Have drained all your pension / Now they need tuition.

On his second verse, he doubles down on his Ol’ Dirty inspiration and takes some humorous shots at modern rappers: “Yeah, I put a end to the world you the greatest rapper in / A rapper is nothing but candy packaging / Guess that mean you sweet inside, Laffy Taffy skin / Bars too advanced like a graphic calculus / Huh, I thought you guys was felons / Y’all so gangsta in the street, but be so nice on Ellen.” B.o.B.’s words here are as sharp as we’ve heard them as of late, which is a smooth transition away from the Pop persona that he acknowledges.

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“Ol’ Dirty Bastard” is expected to appear on B.o.B.’s forthcoming album SouthMatic, due out sometime this year.

#BonutBeat: Check out B.o.B.’s first single from SouthMatic, “Magic Number,” which pulls inspiration from The School Of Rock.