Now that you’ve finally managed to go a full week without hearing “Nothin’ on You,” “Airplanes” or “Magic” on the radio, here comes Bobby Ray with a new video. “Dr. Aden,” off his No Genre mixtape, is a little different than that triptych of smashes, though. For one thing, there’s no high-profile guest star giving him an assist on the chorus—just B.o.B. all by his lonesome this time. In fact, there’s not even a chorus to begin with, or any other crossover-courting pop hooks to speak of. Instead, there is narrative, B.o.B. telling the story (played out in the accompanying video) of the titular doctor getting duped into working for a government program using disease for the purpose of population-control. Yikes.
Whatever you think of Bobby’s storytelling abilities—we think they’re sound enough, though his flow is still a little choppy and some of his lyrics fall into the awkward-rhyme trap (“Her office was really just a part of the operation / She wipes her eyes as they water full of frustration”)—you gotta give it up for that beat. A dark, pained, Isaac Hayes-sounding soul groove replete with horns, piano and heavily wah-wahed guitar, it almost doesn’t matter what B.o.B. is rapping over it.