RoyalTy Rating: 8 Crowns
Undoubtedly, B.o.B is one of rap’s most versatile artists. He possesses capacity that transcends rap borders and delivers hits in multiple genres. His tolerable singing and ability to play guitar coupled with pop, industry appeal grants exploration of many musical avenues, yet F*ck Em We Ball caters directly to his rap fan base.
Apparently, B.o.B notices the current trends of rap. He hasn’t ratcheted down his energetic bars. Instead, he’s pared them with heavy, booming, rap-ready professional beats–a change that makes provisions for B.o.B to experiment. Super producers Mike Will, Sonny Digital and others help B.o.B evolve his sound. Metaphors, similes and smoothly transitioning punch lines solidify F*ck Em We Ball as it delivers exactly what fans anticipated.
B.o.B starts by paying homage to recently reelected Barack Obama, on the opening skit, before doing some campaigning of his own. “Champaign” aggressively asserts B.o.B’s new sound as he develops a metaphor comparing his rap grind to an election campaign while toying with the reference of presidential kush.
“Dynomite,” “Still In This Bitch” and “F*ck Em We Ball” continue establishing B.o.B’s newly incorporated facets. Fortunately, B.o.B hasn’t completely fallen into the allure of trap beats. He still incorporates eurogate laced, spatial sounding song qualities often associated with smoking on the project. “Be There” and “Roll One Up” have very chill vibes and show B.o.b’s range. He doesn’t always have to bombard listeners with “Beast Mode” like flows, and gives listeners music they can feel while he paints visual pictures. At times he seems less like a rapper and more like narrator relaying a sequence of events, especially on songs directed towards women like ”Greedy Love” and “Spend It.”
“Swagger on infinity/If you feelin it, get with it bitch/I’m doin that thing so diligent/I’ll go dumb on that pussy, make that clitoris go illiterate/How inconsiderate?” B.o.B threads a cleverly woven internal rhyme to close verse one before piano strokes introduce the hook on “Spend It.”
“Hell of a Night” might be the sleeper track of F*ck Em We Ball. It’s fusion of characteristics and extravagant production fulfills every requirement of a quality song. An anthem style hook, uptemto bombastic party beat, a smooth flow make for a lethal combination. B.o.B playfully initiates the track with DJ scratching before he rocks the beat.
B.o.B creates a variety of music, but little caters to the club scene. “Best Friend” is a mediocre attempt. The components of success of are in place but weren’t packaged correctly as the hook lacks cohesion. It didn’t glue twerk music’s signature handclap to the dance motivated beat, but shows promise towards immediate improvement.
Although he experiments rapping over heavy beats, he didn’t allow these endeavors to overload and sour F*ck Em We Ball. B.o.B ‘s intangibles keep his projects from sounding monotonous because he balances savage bars against vibe music. It would have been nice to hear B.o.B. do a story track, as he’s done in the past, or show listeners diversity displayed on his album, but F*ck Em We Ball is defined by B.o.B’s progress. He’s no longer allowing pop beats to diminish the wordplay of entertaining bars.