Bobby Ray Simmons Jr.’s familiar lyrics dominated the air waves over the past year, as he skyrocketed to fame.
“I could use a dream or a genie or a wish/To go back to a place much simpler than this,” raps Simmons in the hit song “Airplanes.”
Better known to his fans as B.o.B, the musician with other popular tracks, such as “Nothin’ on You” and “Magic,” was chosen by Virginia Tech Union’s concerts committee to perform this semester. Originally slated to appear in September, B.o.B’s explosive rise to fame caused a conflict in dates with new college locations being added to his tour and his performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Only 22 years old, B.o.B has already worked with big names such as T.I., Eminem and Lupe Fiasco, among his many musical collaborations. In fact, the success of his music led to his album release being pushed up earlier this year.
B.o.B has also been nominated for numerous awards, ranging from BET awards to Teen Choice Awards to the VMAs, for an astounding total of 22 nominations in 2010 alone.
B.o.B became involved in music as a young teenager. He began rapping at age 13 and writing his music at age 15 after encouragement from his brother. He broke into the music scene early, earning a record deal the year he graduated from high school. His inclusion under Atlantic Records opened the door to the industry and the charts.
Although he released two albums before “The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” his early popularity was largely confined to the Atlanta area where he grew up. Songs like “Haterz Everywhere” dominated in the South, but it was not until his collaboration with Paramore’s Hayley Williams that B.o.B caught America’s attention. The lyric, “can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars,” became pervasive and even helped land B.o.B a performance at the 2010 VMAs.
Many may not realize B.o.B is not only a talented rapper, but is also learning to play multiple instruments, including the piano, French horn and trumpet. With a firm belief in empowerment through music, B.o.B explores multiple genres to craft his songs. The show at Tech is bound to be different than what is usually expected from a rap performance because of the live band he travels with.
Kardinal Offishall and Playboy Tre will be opening for B.o.B. Kardinal Offishall is probably best known for his song “Dangerous” featuring Akon. B.o.B began working with Playboy Tre in the early days of his career when he first began recording in a professional studio. They are currently on tour together.
Although crowd control is always an issue for concerts, VTU chose B.o.B because it wanted a fun show for the students. Tickets are still available, and VTU has thrown out all the stops to sell out the show.
The talent-studded concert will be tonight in Burruss Auditorium. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.