100 & Single: Can Katy Perry Turn The States' Post-Christmas No. 1 Race Into Something UKrazy?

Categories: B.o.B, Katy Perry

Thanks to her husband, Katy Perry considers herself as an honorary Brit. But as the most frequent current inhabitant of the Billboard charts, she must wish we were all anglophiles.

If only America had a Christmas No. 1 competition as rabid and media-fueled as Old Blighty's! Katy would have that improbable, record-shattering sixth Hot 100 chart-topper from her Teenage Dream album all sewn up by year's end. All she'd have to do is call her current hit, "The One That Got Away"—currently No. 4 on the Hot 100—her bid for a Christmas No. 1, and thousands of pop buyers would comply.

But if she and her label, EMI, can't get us to give her a chart-topper the British way, they'll try other avenues—like peoples' hunger to fill that shiny new Apple gadget they're opening on the 25th.

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Live: B.o.B Shows Flashes Of Megastardom At The Bowery Ballroom

B.o.B w/Lauriana Mae
Bowery Ballroom
Tuesday, November 29

Better than: Living in New Jersey. (Joking, Taylor Ham aficionados!)

9:56 p.m.: "He represents Atlanta, ladies and gentlemen... He's sold like a million records and like 15 million downloads... He's had a Grammy nomination... It's B.o.B!" So last night's headliner was introduced NYC by radio jock Peter Rosenberg, seconds before the young ATLien took to the stage for a sold-out show.

9:55 p.m.: "We have some very special guests in the house tonight, and I mean very special!" Rosenberg, barely a minute earlier, promising some big-name titillation. Rapper guests at live shows are nothing new these days, but his teaser cut to the heart of B.o.B's dilemma—he's a successful rapper, but he works better in the company of bigger-name collaborators, not so much riding coattails as doing his best dances on them. And so it was last night.

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Live: B.o.B Covers MGMT, Regales Thoroughly Soused Masses At Irving Plaza

He'll probably buy you a beer if no one else will. Pics by Rob Trucks, more below.
B.o.B/Yelawolf/Playboy Tre
Irving Plaza
Tuesday, August 17

Every single person at this show was underage and/or drunk, present company excepted. Multiple amorous young couples took turns making out in various corners, opening act Yelawolf almost got himself arrested, a kid in an askew baseball cap shouted "YEAH THAT'S MY SHIT" during a hokey lite-rock jam called "Letters From Vietnam," B.o.B strummed an acoustic guitar frequently and crowd-surfed briefly, another kid in an askew baseball cap tried to get me to buy him a beer during that terrible song with Rivers Cuomo (not present), and the night ended with a peppy cover of MGMT's "Kids." I could really use a wish right now.

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T.I. Played a Secret Show Last Night at Capitale with Cam'ron, Swizz Beatz, B.o.B., Mary J. Blige, and Keri Hilson

Axe Music
Well, it wasn't that secret: here is a clip of Tip talking about the show, out in the Hamptons. But the location was closely guarded, more or less, revealed late yesterday by Axe, the fragrance company at whose promotional behest this concert was staged. Unlike Kayne's super late night, staunchly elitist affair at the Box late last week, this one was for the people, sorta: if you pressed all the right Twitter and Facebook buttons you could get in, if you got there in time. Also, T.I. played for two hours and did 30 songs, which is kind of unheard of, but it's been a while, so can you blame him? Cam'ron, Swizz Beatz, and about a million other people came through. There are already photos of the show everywhere, of course:

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B.o.B Fulfills His Destiny, Goes #1

Categories: B.o.B, Featured

Not to brag or anything, but Sean Fennessey pretty much called this exact turn of events a full month ago. The success of The Adventures of Bobby Ray, which sold 84,000 copies out of the gate, was a phenomenon long in the making--follow, if you care to, his team's careful set of decisions, from introducing B.o.B on mixtapes as the second coming of Andre 3000, to giving him his stripes via a very public T.I. co-sign, to the late-stage zig-zag from rappin' ass rapper to folk-rock Coldplay acolyte, just in time to collect Paramore's Hayley Williams, Eminem, Lupe Fiasco, Janelle Monae, and Rivers Cuomo for his all-over-the-map debut album. It worked (if you can call 84K success these days), and B.o.B's template will likely now be studied by A&Rs for years to come. If--after three straight weeks of sub-100K #1s--A&Rs still exist, anyway. [Billboard]

Hey Look, Eminem Jumped On a Song With B.o.B and Paramore's Hayley Williams

The sequel to "Airplanes," the crossover anthem B.o.B and Hayley Williams released last week in Bobby Ray's final gambit to catapult himself out of the rap universe and directly into college dorm-room stardom. And who better than Eminem to reach an entire army of people who don't care about rap except when he makes it? "Airplanes Pt. 2" sports an Em verse far better than what B.o.B probably deserves, and virtually guarantees that a guy who once threatened retirement before he had even released a record will have one of the ten or twenty biggest songs this summer. Somewhere Andre 3000 is shaking his head. [2DopeBoyz]

Here's Video Of Your New Favorite Rapper, B.o.B., Doing Your New Favorite Song, "Nothin' On You," At S.O.B.'s Last Night

Now that you've fully absorbed yesterday's primer on Atlanta rapper and long-gestating mainstream sensation B.o.B., enjoy this footage of our hero at S.O.B.'s, leading a live band through his big hit, which we love unconditionally.* More footage is available here. Album's out in a coupla weeks. That tune with Paramore's Hayley Williams is a bit of a drag, but otherwise, it's all happening.

* Royal "we," I think.

A Comprehensive Guide to B.o.B, the Rapping Coldplay Acolyte Who Is About to Be Enormously Famous

In two weeks the first rap album of 2010 that matters will be released. How much rap will appear on The Adventures of Bobby Ray is still a mystery. But the recent hip-hop trend of paradigm-shifting MCs--e.g., rappers who don't always seem interested in rap--continues with the big top arrival of B.o.B. There has been something preordained about his rise, but it's been an intermittent ascent for Atlanta's Bobby Ray Simmons. Unlike his comrade in genre obfuscation, Drake--who became famous virtually overnight--B.o.B's trajectory has been a slow burn climaxing in, finally, a flash of light: the hit single "Nothin' On You."

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I Like B.o.B's "Nothin' On You" A Lot, And I'm Not Gonna Take Any Crap About It

Categories: B.o.B, Featured

Spent a long weekend recently in Southern California, where I can confirm that every radio station is basically playing "Imma Be," "Bedrock," and "Paparazzi" on an infinite loop, but occasionally throwing in this extraordinarily corny but nonetheless very sweet little number in as well. Here is the video. It, too, is extraordinarily corny, and reminds me of Tears for Fears for some reason I cannot explain. We are all, in the end, merely sowing the seeds of love.