You could rap, sing, and produce, which were you able to do first?
I definitely was able to rap first because that was my home. And, from that, I grew into producing naturally. You know, sometimes as an artist, you can’t always find the right producer – not necessarily a talented producer – like somebody who’ll work with you, but, just really developing your own sound. I think that’s how I’ve developed my own style of music. Songs like “Satellite”, “I’ll be in the Sky”, and “Generation Lost” are the most close to home with the sounds I’ve developed.
Do you find one harder than the other?
Well honestly, I feel like rapping was something that I don’t feel like I’ve mastered it, but I’ve gotten to the point where that I’m good enough at it to where if I have an objective I’m trying to convey, I’ll get the point across, and get people to feel it. I feel like singing is something that is more of a challenge because I’ve always wanted to sing - that was the reason why I decided to take voice lessons, and really try to incorporate that into my music. I feel like I could do both, and hold my own weight, but, I’m still trying to develop everything, and production. Now, I’m working with live musicians – where we make music, and perform together. So it’s like a really close bond I’m developing.
On Adventures of B.O.B, how many tracks were you able to do all three on?
Actually a lot. A lot of songs are like that. I kind of wanted to give people the best of both worlds. Some songs are mixed up. Some songs are just singing. Some songs are just rapping. For the most part, I kind of like to get the mix between all of it.
A lot of people would be intimidated to do a song with either Lupe or Eminem, but you have both on the album. Do you feel pressure to match up well, and deliver on those tracks?
Nah not really man. It’s kind of like just a turn of events that happen – you know what I mean? I feel like it would be a great contribution. But, regardless of who was on it, even if it was Michael Jackson, you would still kind of want to show and prove something to the audience. You want to show something to certain people who could become fans, because those are the ones I feel who are real critical, and critique. I know it takes awhile to win certain people over, but, all in all, you really have to show yourself as an artist.
Because you’re music is so different, and inspired from other eras, I was wondering if you could put an artist from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s to work with, whom would they be, and why?
From the 70’s, I’d definitely want to work with Parliament. Why I would want to work with them is because I feel like their sound was really close to what I would be. I definitely think I was a musician in the 70’s who passed away, and came back. I was born in 88’, so I feel like that was something in me. I didn’t really listen to a lot of funk growing up but, it was kind of something that always been in my soul. I actually want to do more funk. Like even at my shows, it has a funky, gospelish, hip-hop, high energy rock type of vibe. There are definitely some elements of that in there. In the 80’s, I’d probably work with Michael Jackson – the Michael Jackson in the 80’s, and not even because he passed, but, because that was the artist whose impression on me was real great in that era. For Michael Jackson, it’s kind of self-explanatory. In the 90’s, I would want to work with Outkast. Of course I could do that now, but, in the 90’s, that was how I was introduced to rap.
A lot of people always bring up you and Andre 3000 in the same conversation.
Yeah it really is a close representation of just individuality, or uniqueness – kind of a self-expression of freedom I guess. I think it’s because me and Andre show such great characteristics of that, and it’s kind of inevitable to be compared to that – especially coming from Atlanta. I think it’s pretty obvious to see, and it’s always going to be there.
Though it’s an honor to be mentioned along the same lines as 3K, does it ever bother you because you want to make your own lane?
I feel like I’ve definitely have grown into my own lane. I think it would only bother me if I allowed it to. I take it as a compliment. Whether it’s a critique or a compliment, there’s always some form of interest. (Laughs)
I know you’re Scorpio. It’s been said that Scorpios are bound to succeed, but make enemies in the process. How have you tried to prevent any negativity from getting into your circle?
(laughs). I feel like I’ve done a very good job staying hater free – you’ve never going to stay hater free though. A lot of people hate, and they don’t even know me. They don’t even know me from the beginning. So it was kind of like, some people are mad, some people are happy, but, they’re all fans. So it’s like you’re always going to have people perceive you some kind of way. I feel like in the industry, there’s always going to be someone you don’t like. There’s probably someone I don’t like that other people just love, and vice versa. Like there’s going people who love me, but others who can’t stand me. It’s kind of like the inevitable side of life.
I recall listening to “Hip-Hop Ain’t Dead”, and you were saying, how a lot of rappers pretend to be gangsta when they really aren’t. Why do you feel are scared to show their true colors to fans?
Really man, I feel like it’s something a person has to grow and be comfortable with. I feel like – just the type of life that I live – I’ve learned to be comfortable with all sides of myself, and what I show to people. I really feel like an open type of person because I feel like even the people watching the certain artists portray something that they’re not, and the artists themselves who are portraying something that they are not, are really tired of doing it. But I mean, I think it’s on both sides, and we’re growing tired of it. I feel like it was a phase that people went through and like as a whole, I think everybody is growing out of that. People want to see more to life. They just don’t want to hear about the bad shit. Like, “shit, I might just shoot a nigga, and if shoots me, that’s what it is.” It’s kind of like a tape that’s on repeat, and people are tired of watching that tape. I feel like there’s songs that are always going to be there, and all over the universe. There’s always going to be pockets of society where there’s going to be a lot of violence and a lot of gangsta activity going on. It’s just because people have the freedom to attract into their lives what they want, but, I think as a whole, pop culture is really the whole gangster archetype.
I remember you Charles, and Asher did the “Change Gon’ Come” song awhile back. With everything going on with Charles, if you could sit him down, and talk to him, what would you say to him?
You know, he actually gave some good advice on that song. He was like: “How do you change what was written//don’t pull into mind what they mention,” and I would tell him that. I would just tell him to continue to be positive because positivity can override anything – even the worse shit that happened –even death. You know positivity is positive. You could make positive out of anything. Actually, when you think about the type of inspiration it takes to make a song, he’s in a great position. Because as an artist, when everything is going great, then you’re just on cruises, and you’re on vacation, and you don’t want to make a song. You just want to relax. It’s always when something bad happens, that’s when you’re inspired. I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see Charles Hamilton coming out bangin’. (Laughs)
Because you’re only 20, and you’ve seen things with Charles, and you’ve seen Cudi contemplate retirement, how do you take their situations, and make sure those don’t become a similar problem for you again in the future?
You know honestly, I’m not even worried about what would come my way because I know as quickly as people can love you, they can turn on you. It’s more so in the media world than word of mouth because for example, Michael Jackson. There were two sides to it with the media, and people. Some people praised him. But even when he died, CNN, and different outlets tried to still stain his image, even when he died. I think the masses knew he was definitely a great person, and he made great music. It’s kind of like, regardless of what is out there, I try to stay as positive as possible. I try to turn all the negativity to positivity. You know, when you get a whole bunch of negativity, all you gotta do is flip it, and becomes a whole bunch of positivity. So either way, the light is going to prevail. That’s a piece of what keeps me going and worry free.
It’s funny you mention the media because in the past, a musician has always complained in the past about privacy. And with twitter out, privacy has apparently jumped out the window.
Yeah I know what you’re saying about Twitter. I mean, I know some people delete their twitter account, and some people that just don’t get on it. But I feel like, in a way, it kind of makes you, more or less for me, it kind of makes me feel sane. It’s like the entire world is a family, and you know I just happen to be a popular family member. But, at the end of the day, you’re dealing with the same issues as the world, and that you do with your family. Your family gossips about you just as much as the world, so, you know, it’s kind of like a more amplified effect, and just the same thing. It’s just more digital and amplified, but it’s the same. If it ever does get out of hand, I’d probably just alleviate myself, and be an online person. (laughs) But really man, I think it’s good to touch people, and give people links and things like that – just to see how the world feels.
You have a lot of energy on stage because you play the guitar, rap, and sing. What you taking to get all that extra energy. (laughs)
(laughs) I actually just drink tea. I just kind of stretch and get loose. That’s the best thing to do. Every muscle in your body has to be warmed up, and loose because even if you have the energy, you’ll pull something, and you won’t be loose before you get on stage. It’s kind of like a sport almost. It’s kind of like how a football player would prepare for a game. Of course, there’s no opponent, but yourself, so that’s the only thing.
I know you were touring with Shwayze.
I actually just got off tour with Shwayze, and I’m about to go on tour with Blue October. We’re kind of doing a mixture of rock, and hip-hop mixture of a show. It’s kind of like the best of both worlds. It’s the Pick Up The Phone Tour. It’s about suicide awareness, and just that realm of things. It’s kind of like mixture of real positive things, so I’m curious to see whose coming out, and what the energy will be like. I feel like it’ll be great.
Before I let you go, being that you’re 20, and the same age as me, that would make you a junior in school. If you were to be in school right now, what would you major in?
I’d probably be majoring in culinary arts. I just like to cook. I don’t cook, but if I had the time to cook, then I’d definitely cook. I used to cook a lot when I was a kid.
What’s your specialty?
Italian Food and anything with Chicken in it. (Laughs)
I say once you get the album out, you do a cooking show - Rapper to Chef.
I’ve thought about that – a reality cooking show. Like I could be like “Boom”, “Bam”. (Laughs)
Or you could open up a restaurant, and with every meal comes a free freestyle.
In reference to the song “Change Gon’ Come”, do you feel Change has arrived, with the class of 09 this year?
I definitely feel like change has arrived, and if you think it hasn’t arrived, and then you just haven’t realized it yet. That’s what I would tell people
Wait, I have to ask for the fans. When is the album dropping? (Laughs)
(laughs) The album is coming Spring 2010. We’re gearing up for it now. We’re getting everything ready. We’re getting everything in shape. We’re getting the music right, and everything is ready to hit the press. I feel like its perfect timing.
Any last words?
Just check me out on twitter. Twitter.com/bobatl or @bobatl