B.o.B, who is known to his friends and family as Bobby Ray Simmons or Bobby Ray, is a rapper and producer from Atlanta Georgia. After signing to Atlantic Records through Jonsin's Rebel Rock on October 3, 2006, he recorded several mixtapes and EP's before the release of his debut album B.o.B presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray in 2010.
This melodic track is the first full single release from B.o.B presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray. It features the vocals of B.o.B's fellow Atlantic Records labelmate, R&B singer Bruno Mars.
Lyrically on this smooth number the Atlanta native is assuring his girl that she has nothing to fear from other women as they've got "Nothing on You."
The track was helmed by production team the Smeezingtons, which comprises Phillip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Bruno Mars. Lawrence told MTV News: "We actually wrote and sung on the hook. We'd been fans of his for a minute and he came in and just murdered those verses. Hopefully the rest is gonna be history."
Simmons told the story behind the song to Artist Direct
: "I'm still young, but in the song I'm reflecting on my younger days when I was all about chasing girls. I was a hopeless romantic and made a lot of stupid decisions. It's about those days. I'm compiling my observations of myself and putting them on a record. I feel like it was a happy marriage between the lyrics that Bruno sang and what I'm doing because he pretty much summed it up and I just had to elaborate on it in my way. I switched up my vocal inflection. It's different; a lot of B.o.B fans didn't notice it was me on first listen."
Bobby Ray speculated to MTV News that the reason for the tune's success is because, "this song is really genuine and really sincere."
He added that sometimes girls who feel insecure need a boost of confidence from their significant other. "I feel like [the song] kind of spoke to 'that crowd,' " he smiled, "which is a huge crowd apparently."
B.o.B is the first male to rapper to score a US #1 with his debut single since Flo Rida had a chart-topper with his maiden release, "Low
" on the chart dated January 5, 2008.
B.o.B is the first American act whose name is a palindrome to top the Hot 100. The other two who did so prior to the Atlanta rapper were both Scandinavian groups. They were ABBA, who reigned with "Dancing Queen
" in 1977, and A-Ha, who led with "Take On Me
" in 1985.
The song was originally slated for B.o.B's Atlantic Records label mate, Lupe Fiasco. Producer Jim Jonsin, who signed B.o.B to his Rebel Rock imprint, told MTV News that he was responsible for redirecting the record to his artist. "I was actually working on a session in Chung King [Studios], and [Atlantic Records chairman] Craig Kallman called me during that session with that particular track, to work on it for Lupe Fiasco," Jonsin said. "I told Craig, 'I like the song a lot. It's a smash and could be somebody's single. But it's not Lupe's record. I need this record for B.o.B. Please give this record to B.o.B' I guess they went through whoever they went through, convinced whoever they needed to, and it got to B.o.B."
The Adventures of Bobby Ray debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 dated May 15, 2010. It was the first time in over three and a half years that a solo male artist had topped the album chart with their debut release. The previous artist to do so was Rick Ross who opened on top of the list with Port of Miami on Aug. 26, 2006.
Bruno Mars and Phillip Lawrence of the Smeezingtons told MTV News how they collectively pieced together the music for this track. "Me and Phil always had that hook," Mars said.
"It was a different melody at first, though," Lawrence added.
"So one day our other partner - the Silent Bob of the Smeezingtons - Ari, he walked into the studio and said he programmed the drums [over]," Mars explained. "It had this old-school hip-hop beat. I said, 'Gimme the piano,' and that was the first thing I started playing. Magically, that melody worked with this track we were doing."
Bruno Mars told Spin
magazine how this song was inspired by '50s doo-wop classics such as The Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You
." Said Mars: "In my songs I'm not saying something that's never been said before. They have lyrics aren't going to blow people away. It's the emotion and the melody that drive it home. So many doo-wop songs do that, like the Flamingos' 'I Only Have Eyes For You.' I was listening to that when we started writing 'Nothin' on You.' I wanted to get that sound. When that chorus opens up [sings] 'I only have eyes for you,' it's just, 'aaaaaaaaaahhh!' What woman doesn't want to hear that? That's where my style comes from when I'm writing. It's all about the execution."
Bruno Mars recalled to Q magazine: "We'd always had that 'beautiful girls, all over the world' part. I played the intro part for our A&R guy and he was like, It's a smash, I want it for B.O.B. I wondered who they'd get to sing the hook, but they took a chance on me on that one."