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B.o.B, ‘So Hard to Breathe’ – Song Review

BoB So Hard to Breathe
Atlantic

With the release of his ‘Strange Clouds’ record just two weeks away, B.o.B is ramping up his promotional efforts with the release of ‘So Hard to Breathe.’ The rapper told PopCrush this is his favorite track on the album, and from what we’ve heard so far, we agree with him.

B.o.B could have stuck to the ‘Airplanes’ formula, but on ‘So Hard to Breathe’ he instead goes for a creative fusion of emo, alt-rock and hip-hop.

The song opens with a delicate acoustic guitar and female backing vocals. The gentle intro masks a lot of anger and frustration on the part of Bobby Ray, who unleashes an intense rap about how he’s struggled to deal with stardom:

Since day one, I said f— the fame and everything it dealt / But the fame is really here just to facilitate the wealth / But the wealth attracts you haters like mosquitoes to a well / And the water’s getting deeper so I’m well set out to sail / Someone called my cell and left a voicemail / That said congratulations on the million record sales / As I’m flipping over furniture, knocking s— off the shelf / I told myself I’ll never get too deep not to take a breath / But I’m sinking.

The volume picks up with loud drums as B.o.B sings his own hook, and there’s a hint of electric guitar, a largely forgotten instrument in pop music these days. The rapper even channels Imogen Heap with the heavily-processed final line, “Now I’m sinking so deep I can’t come up for air.”

B.o.B released a promotional video for the track that follows a literal interpretation of the title with clips of women submerged in their bathtubs. The clip is not labeled an official video, so perhaps that is coming later.

Listen to B.o.B, ‘So Hard to Breathe’

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