Wow. That retirement was shorter than Hova’s!

Bobby Ray Simmons exploded in the late 2000s, when he delivered a set of blazing mixtapes and albums like The Adventures of B.O.B., Strange Clouds, and Bobby Ray vs. B.O.B. Then he seemed to disappear in 2013, returning with much weaker material four years later, which failed to catch fire. In 2018, he said he was done.

Now, just as quickly, he’s back. And Southmatic is easily the best thing he’s done since his 2012 mega-hit record B.O.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray. And unlike that record, which featured tons of superstars like Lupe Fiasco, Hayley Williams, and Amy Winehouse, Southmatic is almost entirely B.O.B.

If B.o.B. had to go away for a while to give us this, it was worth the wait.

And, at the same time, Larry June has dropped another album. Like B.o.B. a few years ago, June tends to overwhelm the internet with product. I get the strategy–a lot of folks use it these days, when the public tends not to buy CDs and music is something that’s here today, gone tomorrow in most cases. But it can lead to a lot of stuff out there that nobody SHOULD remember, so that an artist’s best stuff gets lost. I contend that’s what happened to Larry June. The San Francisco rapper has released some really strong albums, notably Orange Season and Larry, but when the albums come at a rate of three a year, it’s just impossible to keep up. Mr. Midnight is one of his better ones: Smooth, with an old school feel, key tracks are Organic Mud, Oranges on a Jet (with Curren$y), and the love jam Smoothie at Midnight.

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