B.o.B. Opens up About His First Independent Album ‘Ether’

Rapper B.o.B. has a much different sound than when we first heard his lyrics on his debut single “Nothin’ on You” back in 2010. Now, seven years later he’s a different person with a completely different sound as he’s back with a brand new studio album, “Ether,” which also marks his first as an independent artist.

“Ether” is a follow-up to his last project, “Elements,” which he released last year. While he said that one was “more politically and socially charged” as he took on the role of sole producer with no featured artists, he took a different path with “Ether”— a studio album he describes as “fun.”

“I wrapped it all in one to open people’s minds—even conspiracy theorists can be close-minded when it comes to their beliefs and systems. I’m bridging the gap,” he said. “The whole inspiration behind it just came from personal experience. All of the challenges and obstacles that come with the social media driven environment—trying to be conscious and trying to have fun. These are all experiences of trying to be an artist and musician.”

B.o.B. has already made headway with conspiracy theorists, having recently made headlines for his unpopular theory that the world is flat and not round.

He spoke on his controversial statements and said, “There’s no amount of proof, or evidence I can give that will make anybody make a decision. People have to see the truth on their own.”

As for being an independent artist, B.o.B. said it made a difference when artists like Usher, T.I., Ty Dolla $ign, Young Thug, and more brought their talents to the album.

“Everybody contributed to each side. Usher was the pop side; Lil Wayne brought his classic verse. Young Thug had the artistic creativity and T.I. and Ty Dolls $ign, of course, came through in the clutch. Everybody really pieced it together, and they came into my world. That’s the difference when it comes to featuring somebody when you’re on a label, as opposed to being independent.”

When it comes to his sound, B.o.B. marked “Middle Man” as his favorite song on the album and “ET” as one that means the most to him.

“Everything on the album is transparent. But ‘ET’ is special because [Lil] Wayne put a special verse to it. He gave it that classic Wayne verse.”

Still, he credits his most memorable moment of this journey as the time “Ether” was officially released.

“When the clock struck midnight, and the album was out, that was my most memorable moment because it was my first album as an independent artist ever. I’ve worked hard to get to this point, so no one can stop me.”

Ether” is available May 12 on Apple Music.