B.o.B arrived as a crafty, pop-leaning rapper-producer, scoring big hits with Bruno Mars on "Nothin' on You" and Paramore's Hayley Williams on "Airplanes."
But the follow-up failed to click as well, so now we get "Underground Luxury" (Atlantic) -- where he mostly dumbs his sound down to its most formulaic and crass, while cultivating an anti-hero persona. He shows some style in "Headband" and some soul-searching in "Coastline," but mostly it's about buying crap, using women, putting out half-baked conspiracy theories and then wondering why people think he's a jerk.
"I guess I bit off more than I could chew," he laments in "Nobody Told Me."
THE GRADE B-
BOTTOM LINE Wasted hip-hop opportunities