B.o.B says that the title of his Underground Luxury album was inspired by his upbringing.
“Where I came up man, we didn’t have much,” B.o.B. says during an interview with the Breakfast Club. “But we learned to take what we had, and make it luxurious. It’s the art of taking a hoopty that’s been sitting in somebody’s yard, putting rims on it, tricking it out. Now you got a work of art. You got a masterpiece.”
B.o.B. also said that the success his crossovers records does not impact his creative direction.
“I’m not going to try to continue to do something just because it was super successful,” the rapper also known as Bobby Ray says. “But it’s like, for me, it’s about the music. It’s about the culture…It’s about really connecting with people and telling my story this time. Because there are people like that who went through the same thing that I went through who could become motivated off of hearing how I came up.”
Even though he was promoting his new material, B.o.B said he was impressed with the new wave of rappers.
“It’s amazing,” he says. “It’s back. It’s like that excitement you used to feel about the artist back in the ’90s. I feel like we’re feeling that again. It’s like, ‘I’m a fan myself.’ I like the new artists. People like Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q…Kevin Gates, a lot of up-and-coming artists now. It’s dope.”
B.o.B was also asked about his take on artists’ reaction to the media, given Wale’s rant against Complex about the exclusion of his album from its year-end list and Kanye West’s complaints that he only received two Grammy nominations for Yeezus.
“Sometimes as an artist, you feel that sense of… passion,” he says. “That artistic passion. But you still got to be patient. You got to know, are you making art to make art? Or are you making art for recognition? And for me, I don’t really worry too much about my reputation, but just my character. Because that’s where the music comes from. Your music don’t come from your reputation. I made music when nobody knew who I was.”
“He kind of adjusts as I grow, ’cause I executive produced this album,” B.o.B says of T.I. “I produced 80% of it and was very hands on. The more hands on I get, the more he sees that. But he’s always supportive, regardless of what I’m trying to do. Even when I was going through my Rock phase, he was like, ‘Rock on, young brother.'”
RELATED: B.o.B Discusses Comparisons Between T.I. & Malcolm X [Interviews]