10 minutes with B.o.B

The hip-hop newcomer talks about college shows, 9/11, his kazoo and his next album

Last year was busy for B.o.B, aka Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr. Between releasing his debut album and two mixtapes and appearing on songs by Eminem, Kesha, Big Boi, Lupe Fiasco and The Roots, the 22-year-old has firmly cemented his spot as a newcoming force to be reckoned with. Even MTV says so.

With that in mind, The NewsHouse's Otto-Tune blog decided to sit down for an interview with him after his 9/11 Juice Jam set. B.o.B. at Juice Jam 2011

The NewsHouse: What do you like in playing to a university setting like Syracuse? How is that different from playing any other show?

B.o.B: I think it's always the energy, because every school isn't the same. So there’s always a different type of energy with what you get from a crowd depending on where you are and what time of year it is. My favorite, coincidentally, is outdoor shows at night because I came up performing a lot of festivals, just getting like a five minute soundcheck. Like South by Southwest, I feel in my element at these type of shows.

NH: You bring a full band as your backdrop, and that's where you come from instrumentally playing guitar and trumpet. Do you play other instruments too?

B.o.B: A little bit of trumpet, I really play the hell out of the kazoo though, it's my forte.

NH: Do you like having the backdrop of the full band rather than just sampling?

B.o.B: It just adds more energy, and we play off the crowd more. Honestly, it's like everybody’s in the band, and the crowd is part of the band too. You have the drums, the keyboard, in the crowd. When it all gels together it’s beautiful.

NH: Today holds some significance with the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Was there any more emotion up there tonight?

B.o.B: Definitely, I think the energy was in the air. I think people were definitely conscious of it, but I think people just celebrated in remembrance of the event, which gives it that extra oomph. That extra energy in the yell and the scream.

NH: Do you remember where you were when you first heard the news?

B.o.B: I was in middle school, in seventh grade, and they didn’t turn the TVs on. They actually didn’t tell us what happened. They were like, "No one turn the TVs on," so I didn’t find out until I got home. Yeah, that was a crazy time. That was 10 years ago.

NH: Any future plans you can share with us after previewing a new song tonight?

B.o.B: It’s going to come very, very soon. I think I'm just as impatient as everybody else. But, you know, I've got to do things the right way. But, it's the first single off the upcoming album. Title is TBA. But I can say that I'm mostly 90 percent with the album. I really spent most of this year recording it, so I feel really good about it.

NH: Is there anyone out there you haven't collaborated with yet that you would like to, or that we’ll be surprised about when we hear the new album?

B.o.B: Man, that's a good question. I think working with Kid Cudi would be dope. I’ve never worked with Cudi before.

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