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B.o.B. Chats Up ‘Strange Clouds’, Morgan Freeman, And T-Swizzle

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(Photo by Brad Haynes/CBS Orlando)

(Photo by Brad Haynes/CBS Orlando)

With only a week left before the release of his sophomore album Strange Clouds, B.o.B. made his way to Orlando and the 102 JAMZ studios for a chat with Melony Torres this morning. B.o.B. had plenty to say about the upcoming album release, the role that Morgan Freeman will play on Bombs Away (the CD’s opening track) and the evolution of his collaboration with country sweetheart Taylor Swift on Both of Us.

B.o.B. has been quoted as saying that the release of his first album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, was like losing his virginity. So will the new album find him exploring new positions? B.o.B. laughingly replied, “After a while you get tired of the same old missionary thing. You want to mix it up a little bit. This album’s more of a 69 type of thing.”

It’s also an album he’s very proud of and which he feels displays his own artistic growth. “There’s just more of me in it, you know. Musically and personally.”

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises when the track listing for the album was released was the inclusion of legendary actor Morgan Freeman (not typically known for his musical pursuits) as a featured artist on the Strange Clouds track Bombs Away. Bobby Ray joked about his appearance, stating, “He spits the hottest16 bar verse on the album.”

Freeman’s role on the track sounds somewhat reminiscent of the role horror movie great Vincent Price played on the the opening of Michael Jackson‘s Thriller. According to B.o.B., “It’s on the intro track for the album. I just felt like he would paint the picture even more vividly of what the song feels like and what it means.”

And how do you go about getting an Academy-Award-winning actor to make a cameo on your CD? “Luckily for us, him and his team were a fan of my work,” B.o.B. said. “We made it happen.”

Then there’s the much buzzed about T-Swizzle (aka Taylor Swift) collaboration.  Unlike the Haley Williams vocal contribution to B.o.B.’s hit Airplanes, where Williams and B.o.B. never actually met up to put the track together, he describes his connection with Swift as special. “We actually connected amongst ourselves first which I feel like was great because it kind of let us creatively as artists pick the best song to work on.” That song turned out to be entitled Both of Us. “When I played it for her she immediately liked it. She was already down before the verse even started. And then from that point on the rest is history.”

The romantic Parisian environment of the video for So Good, the first single from Strange Clouds, prompted Melony to ask B.o.B.’s take on the concept. “It’s kind of like a pamphlet,” he said. “An instructional video of what could happen with things to come.”

And what about the Nothin’ On You girl, referring to the subject of B.o.B.’s first chart topping hit? Apparently there never was one. According to B.o.B., “If you’re implying my relationship status, I’ve always been single.” And that’s good news for all you single ladies out there.

Strange Clouds will be released May 1st, 2012.

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