|Single by Outkast|
|from the album Stankonia|
|Released||September 19, 2000|
|Outkast singles chronology|
"B.O.B" ("Bombs Over Baghdad") is a song by American rap duo Outkast from their fourth studio album Stankonia (2000). It was released as the album's lead single on September 19, 2000 through LaFace Records and Arista Records. Produced by Earthtone III, the song features a high-speed tempo beat consisting of drum and bass rhythms, guitars, organs, and gospel vocals. Although not a huge commercial success, the song has been cited as one of the greatest songs of all time by publications such as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Blender and Complex. Recorded and released prior to the September 11 attacks, the song became popular during the Iraq War.
Produced by Outkast and Mr. DJ under the name Earthtone III, "B.O.B" features "jittery drum'n'bass rhythms" and has been classified as a "stylistic tour de force" combining "Hendrix-ian" guitars, organs, and gospel vocals. On the track, André 3000 and Big Boi employ a "frantic" flow in order to keep pace with the song's high-speed tempo, which runs at 155 beats per minute.
Big Boi said that they wanted to differ from current music: "Everybody's been doing music like they all have the same formula — e = mc2. They get a beat, an MC, somebody to sing the hook, and go platinum. Where's music going to go when everybody's trapped in this same repetitious flow?"
In addition to the regular release, there is also a clean version available in the video game Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX, which removed expletives such as "hell" and references to recreational drug use to allow the game to receive an "E for Everyone" rating.
"B.O.B", peaked at number 69 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, 58 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart and 61 on the UK Singles Chart. However, many urban Top 40 radio stations banned the single due to its title and the subject matter it was assumed to have. The single was named by several music publications as one of the best songs of the 2000s. Rolling Stone ranked it 21st on their "100 Best Songs of the 2000s list and 50th on their "The 50 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All Time" list. Pitchfork ranked it first on their "The Top 200 Tracks of the 2000s" list. Bested only by Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", it was ranked second on Blender's "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" list. Complex ranked it third on their "The 100 Best Songs of the 2000s" list. The Ringer and The Guardian both ranked the song number one on their lists of the greatest Outkast songs.
The song garnered near universal acclaim from music critics. Nathan Brackett of Rolling Stone said: "The furious 'B.O.B.' is a blast of up-tempo, turn-of-the-century dislocation with electro breaks and a gospel choir. 'Power music, electric revival,' chants the choir at the end, sounding like some funkified Southern congregation where Chuck D is the preacher and Afrika Bambaataa is the musical director." Louis Arp of Sputnikmusic called the song a "drum ‘n bass assault at a frantic pace with perhaps one of the best guitar solos in hip hop history" and the duo's "rapid-fire delivery" "perhaps the most astonishing thing about this track". Tony Green of The Village Voice called it Outkast's "strongest retort to the 'bounce and more bounce' crowd, just about the damnedest bass track ever" and an "electro workout reimagined as a praise-and-worship service". Aishah Hight of PopMatters said its "fast tempo, complemented by the chant 'Bombs over Baghdad', makes this song edgy, animated, and entertaining." Saron Baker of Yahoo! Music said that it "explodes in revved-up adrenaline".
In 2009, Stuart Berman of Pitchfork named "B.O.B" the best song of the 2000s, saying "B.O.B. is not just the song of the decade--it is the decade." Pitchfork's review called the song a "fast-forwarded highlight-reel prophecy of what the next 10 years held in store."
The music video for "B.O.B" was directed by Dave Meyers. Shmoop said it "combines all of your typical elements of a hip-hop music video, namely the girls, the cars, and the bling, except this video is on psychedelics. This is a good point of comparison to see just how much Outkast has changed both musically, artistically, and stylistically over the course of their career."
The song became increasingly popular during the Iraq War in 2003. Many radio stations increased its airplay and U.S. troops were using it as a battle cry. During the 2003 NASDAQ-100 Open, tennis player Jennifer Capriati requested it to be played. Both members of OutKast have clarified they opposed the invasion, with Big Boi wishing that the U.S. government consulted the United Nations before taking action and Andre 3000 stating that the half-hearted bombings are a metaphor for lack of dedication in the music industry.
Iggy Azalea's 2013 single "Work" was inspired by the chord progression in "B.O.B". The single's music video also paid homage to the visual elements of the "B.O.B" music video. The Janelle Monáe songs "Many Moons" and "Cold War" were both influenced by the drum pattern of "B.O.B".
In October 2020 it was announced that Zack de la Rocha's remix of the song would appear on a 20th-anniversary rerelease of Stankonia later the same year. This remix, which was made in Fall of 2000, was originally released to rock radio. It has also appeared on file sharing sites as a remix credited to Rage Against the Machine, de la Rocha's band.
US CD single
UK DVD single
Europe CD single
US vinyl single
UK vinyl single
Europe enhanced CD single
- André 3000 – vocals, backing vocals
- Big Boi – vocals
- Morris Brown College Gospel Choir – backing vocals
- Earthtone III – keyboards, producer, arranger
- Kennet Wright – keyboards
- Matt Still – keyboards
- Nein H. Pogue – arranger
- David Whild -guitar
- Donny Mathis – guitar
- Cutmaster Swiff – scratches
|UK Singles Chart||61|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||69|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay (Billboard)||58|
|Canada Sales (Nielsen Soundscan)||84|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000|
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
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- "Zack de la Rocha's remix of OutKast's "B.O.B." receives first-ever commercial release: Stream". 26 October 2020.
- "Hear Zack de la Rocha's Unearthed Remix for Outkast's 'B.O.B.'". 26 October 2020.
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