The last time we checked in with Black Bobby, he was celebrating Lebron James in song and getting ready to release his latest album, Presidential Shit. Shortly after, though, he announced he was taking a break from music for the winter, to concentrate on promoting all the music he had already released in a short burst.
That didn't last for long, though. Behold, a new single, and a clarification from Bobby. "I just am taking a break from shows while I work on new material," he says. "I've been writing, networking and doing my blog every day."
Sadly, though, his new single, "The Prince Akeem Theory," was borne out of tragedy -- it's dedicated to the memory of Bobby's college friend, Naeem Webster, who died in a car crash this past Thanksgiving weekend. "He loved hip-hop. He wanted me to get him the Rick Ross Diamond Supply hat from Foot Soldiers," Bobby recalls. "I wrote this song with him in mind and I think he'd appreciate it a great deal."
The "Prince Akeem" part, specifically though, refers to Bobby's own recent past, which has featured a series of rapid changes that left him feeling like a stranger in a strange land. (Akeem, for those who have sadly never heard the Soul Glow jingle, is Eddie Murphy's bemused African prince in Coming to America.)
"I left a successful career in politics in Boston to be here living hip-hop. I literally had a moment in NYC where I felt like Prince Akeem throwing away his crown for love," he says. "I think following your dreams is more important than a paycheck. But, my theory is that by chasing my dreams I will get what I ultimately really want."
The track is hardly gloom and doom, though, and finds some cracks of sunlight. There's the beat, of course, which is the buoyant, brass-heavy accompaniment to Jay Electronica's unfuckwithable "Shiny Suit Theory." Bobby riffs off Jay Elec's "sailing on a cloud" lyrical motif and turns everything more uplifting. A sample lyrical highlight: "My brain's heavy so my chains don't matter." (Shortly after, that, also comes: "I'm the freshest rapper ever in the New Times." Thanks for the shout-out.)
The "B-side" to this free, electronic single is "6'7' Flow (Indie Wayne)," which is one of the first of doubtlessly many local spins on Lil Wayne's "Six Foot, Seven Foot" beat. (Bobby also gets punctuation points for correctly writing out "6'7'," which probably isn't right either but at least uses the apostrophe instead of quotation marks.)
The coupling of the two tracks as a "single" was deliberate, Bobby says. "I wanted to pair this single with the other to further illustrate that I'm an indie rapper, not underground. My music," he says, "is a little of both mainstream and underground, and I plan to keep it that way."
Download both tracks from the single below.
MP3: Black Bobby - "The Prince Akeem Theory"
MP3: Black Bobby - "6'7' Flow (Indie Wayne)"
Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.