On this day, Dec. 17, in hip-hop history...

2013:  Following his bold claims made throughout most of the year that his next album would be the best musical album of 2013, Georgia rapper B.o.B. dropped his third  studio album, Underground Luxury, exactly five years ago through Grand Hustle Records.

After first unveiling that the title of his next project would be Underground Luxury through a simple tweet in May of that year, the member of XXL's 2009 Freshman Class spoke highly of the state of the rap game in 2013. "This year was a crazy year, everybody put out an album, but I feel like just the energy that's back in hip-hop, it's like back what you saw in the '90s when it was real superstar energy," B.o.B. said when it was announced that his third album would be released in December. "I feel like that's very present among us."

So with that, the "Strange Clouds" artist set the bar high in a year that saw acclaimed releases from some of the game's top acts, saying that Underground Luxury would outdo them all. "I would have the best musical album out this year, like hands down," said Bobby Ray, who had become known as a well-rounded artist who could rap, sing, play the guitar and produce. "That's no knock to anybody, any of the greats like Jay and Kanye because I enjoyed their albums, but musically, what I put into this album is gonna be the best album this year."

Underground Luxury's lead single, "Headband," featuring 2 Chainz, was released at the tail end of May, shortly following the B.o.B.'s announcement of the album. The track was produced by DJ Mustard and peaked at No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Next up was the Rock City-produced "All I Want," a single that highlighted the theme in which Bobby intended to take the album as a whole, representing "anybody who grew up having nothing," but were able to "take what they had and make it luxurious." Two more singles, "Ready," featuring Future and "John Doe," featuring Priscilla, preceded the album's release, while Underground Luxury's final single, "Throwback," featuring Chris Brown dropped in March of 2014.

Despite the high expectations that the Georgia musician set for the project, Underground Luxury was met with mixed reviews upon its release, but was commercially successful for the most part, reaching a peak of No. 22 on the Billboard 200 and becoming certified gold in 2016.

B.o.B.'s third studio LP is an album that predominantly shows off the artist's excellent rap skills, while staying true to the eclectic nature of his sound that brought Bobby Ray to the dance.

 

Grand Hustle / Atlantic

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