Grammy nominee B.o.B comes to Ames for Veishea

Frances Myers

Once the kid who hung out in the back of the classroom so as not to be bullied by classmates, Bobby Ray Simmons, better known as B.o.B, is now a well-known hip-hop recording artist.

B.o.B is an international superstar who has been nominated for Grammy awards six times. He will be performing at Iowa State during Live @ Veishea on April 20, 2013.

B.o.B is well known for such hits as “Airplanes” with Hayley Williams, “Nothin’ on You” with Bruno Mars and “Magic” with Rivers Cuomo.

The 24-year-old artist was born in Winston-Salem, N.C., and hails from Decatur, Ga. He played the trumpet in elementary school and on into high school. According to an article in HipHopDX, it was in sixth grade that B.o.B decided he wanted to pursue music. His father, a pastor, originally disapproved of his son’s choice to pursue music. That is, until he realized that music was a creative outlet for Bobby Ray.

It was when he was 14 years old that B.o.B met his co-manager and mentor, B. Rich, and sold his first beat to recording artist Citti for a song titled, “I’m the Cookie Man.” According to an article on TJ’s DJs website, B.o.B. thought this was his big break and acted on that.

According to the article, B.o.B is quoted as saying, “I went and blew all of my money on fast stuff like a chain and ballin’. Soon I was broke again, but I learned two important things from it; make sure I save my money and that I was hooked on music.”

In an interview with Idolator, an independent site for pop music fans, B.o.B was asked about a verse in “Airplanes,” which mentions wanting to stop rap politics, which plague the music industry.

B.o.B was quoted as saying, “Rap politics is not being able to work with another artist because somebody is mad in between them. Or somebody just doesn’t want that. Basically, it’s just when something is a part of an agenda and usually it’s all political. It could be something as simple as signing an autograph for somebody’s daughter who has a high position or something. Let’s say if you didn’t sign that autograph … you pissed somebody off. It’s all political. People’s egos get in the way of what it’s really about.”

It was in 2007 that B.o.B began to receive major recognition. His underground single, “Haterz Everywhere” peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles. In 2010, he released a mix tape that received critical acclaim. It featured other such artists as J. Cole, Asher Roth, Playboy Tre, Charles Hamilton and Bruno Mars.

According to his biography, “In just six years, B.o.B has gone from earning stripes to having stripes by means of a national Adidas endorsement campaign, along with being recognized by every award show from the American Music Awards and Grammy’s, to the BET Awards and NAACP Image Awards.”