Thursday, November 15, 2012

B.o.B writes off haters in 'Fuck 'Em We Ball'

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 3:08 PM

B.o.B., Tree Sounds Studios Mali Hunter, Mike Will Made It
  • Christina Lee
  • B.o.B., Tree Sounds Studios' Mali Hunter, Mike Will Made It
Last night, just hours before he turned 24, B.o.B stood before an audience of bloggers, producers and fellow emcees, including RocNation protégé J. Cole. "This is my ninth mixtape, and I'm getting back to where I started doing eight mixtapes and two albums ago," the Decatur, Ga. native said.

"Preach," an audience member yelled back.

Inside Tree Sounds Studios, B.o.B was previewing Fuck Em We Ball - which, based on the snippets he offered, sounded like the ideal soundtrack to his birthday party tonight at Opera Nightclub. Songs like the title track and "Campaign," featuring longtime co-conspirator Playboy Tre, were fueled on little else but heavy bass, drum-machine beats and B.o.B.'s flow, which often operated in double-time.

Fuck Em We Ball comes less than six months after B.o.B's sophomore album Strange Clouds, in which he answered to seemingly dueling expectations, from longtime followers of his mixtape grind and casual fans of his Grammy-nominated work. Far less seems to be at stake now, although as the night wore on, B.o.B shifted to calling Fuck Em We Ball an album, rather than a mixtape.

About halfway into his preview, he even paused "Everythang" ("a song for the ladies" - meaning, a slower song about ladies) to point out how he played the bass and electric guitars himself. Evidently, B.o.B. still felt as if he had something to prove.

Immediately following the preview, B.o.B. spoke with CL about the making of Fuck Em We Ball and what he hopes to accomplish this year.

How do you feel about turning 24?
I'ma be honest: 23 is the last age where you feel those youthful years. 24 is like, "Okay, you need to start getting serious."

Wait. Don't you think you've been serious?
I've been serious, but you know what I mean? It's about the shit that really matters. I think I've had my appetizer in life, and now I'm ready for the main course.

What do you hope to accomplish at age 24?
Continue to be a fully-functioning, healthy human being. That is the goal, because everything else flourishes from that. Million-dollar empires, bank accounts - all that flourishes from just being a stable, healthy human being. That's what you gotta focus on first.

You say that Fuck Em We Ball is a return to roots, whereas with Strange Clouds -
I went to the edge of the universe. Sorry to interrupt.

What were you gonna say?
I went to the edge of the universe. I wanted people to know of all the thoughts that I've ever put out, the thoughts that I am capable of being aware of, just so people know. It's just, I don't want people to get too caught up in the concepts and the black-and-white duality of what I'm doing. So I almost intentionally have songs that contradict each other, just so people can get the point of what the music is for.

Fair enough. With Strange Clouds, you had also talked a lot about this notion of people catching up to what you've done. That said, why did you feel that a return to your roots was important?
I felt like that was important, because it's kind of like a recalibration. I use this analogy a lot, or at least I've been using it a lot tonight, but it's like a battery that you have to recharge. You can take that motherfucker wherever, but eventually you have to plug it back up. For me this was really about it being effortless and just having fun with it, not really overthinking it.

Tell me a little bit about the making of Fuck Em We Ball.
I produced pretty much every track or co-produced with either Jamieson and Osinachi, and then there were three tracks that I produced just by myself. There are a lot of elements that could possibly get overlooked, due to the whole concept of the mixtape. There's a lot of live music - a lot of live guitar, live bass, all organic material, so it's really just about the flavor and how I kicked it and how I sculpted it. It's a piece of art to me; even the way it's presented is artwork. You don't want to put a great painting in a shitty frame, you know?


B.O.B. Celebrates the Release of His New Project "Fuck Em We Ball" from 3 Little Digs on Vimeo.

Fuck Em We Ball is out today, 4:20 p.m., at DatPiff.

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