B.o.B’s 2010 debut launched hits that co-starred Bruno Mars, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and Hayley Williams of Paramore. So for his second album, the rapper wanted to feature his many talents without assists from famous faces.
Then he bumped into Chris Martin of Coldplay.
“I ran into Chris Martin in a studio in New York and I was like …’I don’t really want features on my project.’ And he was like, ‘Why the (expletive) not? Like, what? Like, why? What is the reason behind purposely not having features?'”
The 23-year-old says he’s a Coldplay fan and found himself rethinking his original plan. But B.o.B also wondered why Martin would advise him to do collaborations when his band rarely does so.
“I’m thinking like, ‘Coldplay, you don’t need a feature. You’re Coldplay.’ At the same time, I kind of understood what he was saying the more I progressed because it’s really just about the music,” B.o.B said. “It’s an art form.”
Now “Strange Clouds,” released this week, has guest appearances from Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Ryan Tedder, T.I. and Trey Songz. It’s the follow-up to the Grammy-nominated, gold-selling “B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” which includes the top 10 hits “Nothin’ on You,” ”Airplanes” and “Magic.”