BoB is the king of an era, a hitmaker extraordinaire. Life brings even the strongest to their knees, and a mixture of toxic personalities and expectations drove him out of the music industry for a long time, between 5 and 8 years depending on where you draw the line. It can only be healthy. He’s back with an attitude, a sense of humor, a finished hip-hop album being rolled out, a finished rock album backstage, and plans for a metal album. The ruler of an era of club nights and a baron of today’s biggest dance hits even per groove per capita, his growth is a wonderful thing to behold. His top 10 songs on Spotify have amassed nearly 1.8 billion streams. If we don’t change, the seasons will change us. B.0.B, however, changes its seasons.
He sat in his studio in front of posters for Dragon Ball Z, THISand Avatar: The Last Airbender. There were tapestries resembling the painting “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” framing an entrance in one of the walls. The room was lapis and butterscotch in color. Guitars and other instruments strewn about, and an electric sat against a whiteboard of a to-do list backed by a rolling chariot. There were plenty of lights in a customizable configuration and inputs and outputs to feel comfortable with. He and an old friend were sitting smoking shisha and cannabis from one of the many hookahs available. They had just discussed the friend’s life in detail. His partner had left him, but he felt better. His people were good. And life was, as always – his words – an exercise in walking through the dawn. They turned to BoB
“How do you develop your relationship with your group on the road? Do you keep it friendly or are you coming from a professional space? said the friend.
BoB is going on tour with a live band on August 27e.
“He is likely to be very friendly and personal. As CEOs, we must aim for professionalism. It’s kinda hard to do when you’re drinking, hanging out, hanging out,” BoB said. “It’s really easy to slip up. You gotta keep your integrity high, man, and make sure everyone’s safe and no one’s left at the bus stop.
“I tried to visit you on your show at the University of Texas a few years ago. It was a surprise. Those guys from Sigma Chi wouldn’t let any other guys in,” the friend said.
“Wait, they stopped letting guys in specifically?” asked BoB
“Stopped means they started,” his friend said.
“Yo, what? You should have texted me,” BoB said
“Texting you would have ruined the whole magic of it,” his friend said.
“Yo, that shit was crazy, bro. It was so crazy that there were certain songs that I couldn’t do because the fans were going to rush and people were going to get stomped. And that’s so crazy because you’d think after everything that happened at Travis’ stock gig, the public would be a lot more careful,” B.0.B said. “But they were just like, who cares? fuck.”
“The greatest controversy, the greatest tragedy in modern music,” his friend said, “must have affected you as a musician.”
BoB took a long puff from the hookah and flipped his cap back and forth.
“It’s a testament to the nature of the game now. It’s a double-edged sword because when you’re a leader, when you’re able to take blame, you’re always going to take blame,” BoB said.
“That’s one of the sad realities of being an artist. You really don’t have control over so many people. And it takes a lot of people to organize these festivals. Do you know what I’m saying?” asked BoB
“Yeah,” said his friend.
“You need a whole workforce and a whole city. The city has to coordinate with the police department, and there are some things you have no control over, man. I mean, it makes me frustrated with how with some things in the world, it’s just not fair,” BoB said. “And then it also makes me grateful for everything I do that goes well. , like putting on a show.”
“I never thought anyone could die in an event. You know what I’m saying? And now it’s more precautionary, more safe. How are you? Someone fainted. You need water. Get the ambulance. What do we need? I think that’s a good way to approach it, man. As an artist, you don’t necessarily have to think of yourself as a leader, but you probably should,” BoB said. “There are a lot of things that could go wrong that will fall on you. And you will be responsible for it.
“Have you ever had close calls like this?” his friend asked between his rounds of hookah. BoB flipped his hat excitedly for the story to come, feeling the memories of adrenaline.
“Once I was in London and someone said something to me. It was me and my group. It was before I had security. It was just me and my group walking in the streets of London. And one of the fans came up to me and said some bullshit like, yo, yo watch out at noon they’ll be shooting in London. And in my head, I think, they’re going to shoot London? They stab in London! said BoB “So he grabbed my shoulder.” He grabbed my arm because he wanted me to take a picture, but I didn’t know it. So shit got crazy. We were like, aw shit**. I guess the McDonald’s trip is going away.
“We all go back to the hotel. There’s like a little fight. We arrive at the hotel. These n***** are knocking on the door of the hotel. It’s one of those hotels in London where there’s a double wooden door, with a doorknob,” BoB said.
“King George probably set it up,” his friend said.
“There is no security. The two hostesses working had to hold the door while these fans are outside the hotel knocking on the door. They shout. And the stewardesses call the police, and when the police come, they say, we just wanted a picture“, said BoB “We just wanted an autograph.
“I don’t think they deserve one,” his friend said.
“They don’t. They don’t deserve one after that. It’s just that shit, like how wild it is, yo. Imagine you are in a hotel and the hotel staff are trying to barricade the door,” BoB said.
“That’s some Atlanta Walking Dead shit,” his friend said.
“You have to know how to communicate. Working with a drummer, they could be on stage out of step. You’re mad at the drummer. Yo, why are you against the tide?said BoB “But the drummer is like, yo, my internal headphones aren’t working. I never knew. You know what I mean? You really have to explain what is happening and listen.
“Is that why you took your break?” asked the friend.
“Yeah, sure, man. Sometimes you think you don’t like something and it’s really just a certain relationship you have with him that you don’t like. I thought I didn’t like the music industry. And I thought I thought I wanted to retire. Sometimes it’s certain toxic people around you who ruin the shit. All I had to do was remove the irritation and then everything else works out. D***, I like music. I do. I love making music,” BoB said. “I’ve got a great job, man. Start realizing all of these things. You have to go through the fire. Its a story. It’s going to be one hell of a biopsy.
“You mean biopic? asked his friend.
“I mean a biopsy,” BoB said, and the two laughed, inhaled, and were silent for a while.
“People just need to relax, man. It’s so much worry and concern. I get it, man, because most of us are in a world where anything can ruin your payroll schedule: put a boot on your car, get a ticket, or god forbid you have to go to the hospital and get drugs and shit. This is f*****,” BoB said
“Life is hard bro,” the friend said.
“I know I’m an artist, and I’ve probably done some shit that some people will never, ever do. This shit is hard. This shit is still hard. Yo, being a freelance artist post-COVID is hard work said BoB
“What do you mean?” asked his friend.
“All prices are going up except my prices,” said BoB
“Inflation is so hard, bro. It hurts people too,” his friend said. “Companies are making record profits across the board.
“They are like us. F*** them,” BoB said, “Some things are in high demand, like finding a bus driver. Finding a tourist bus is difficult. Finding a bus driver is difficult. Some things are screwed up like corn stock, random bullshit.
“We can’t do a concert without corn. It’s the popcorn round! said his friend.
“It’s the popcorn round. How are we going to do them? BoB asked And they shared another laugh. And BoB turned his hat from back to front. And his friend took another long breath.
“Your fiancé told me you have plans for rock and metal albums?” asked his friend enthusiastically.
“There will absolutely be BoB on a metal album, absolutely fucking lutely, before I get up from here,” BoB said
“We had Brody from Satyr. We collaborated with FABO. We collaborated with the Manchester Orchestra,” said BoB “Waka Flocka is there. Norma Jean’s Josh Socgin is over there. All is done. I’m just looking for a house, a rock label that really understands the project, really believes in it and wants to support it. ‘Cause I want to do it right, man.
Then their hookah ran out and the two had places to go.
Better Than Drugs, his next album, is out Friday, August 19e. And BoB kicks off his first US tour in 8 years on August 27e.