It’s not a B.o.B. jam without a high-profile guest star on it, and after previously leaked and announced Strange Clouds cuts have included the likes of Lil Wayne, T.I. and even Taylor Swift, we now have Nicki Minaj trading psychotherapy verses with B.o.B. on latest cut “Out of My Mind.” Produced by Swedish knob-twiddler Eshraque “iSHi” Mughal (of “Written in the Stars” fame), the song features the two rappers trying to out-nuts each other—though, as per usual, B.o.B.’s special guest ends up getting the better of him in the end.
Really, it was never a fair fight. B.o.B. seems like a very nice young man, but intimidatingly deranged he is not, and his verses (featuring couplets like “I was doing fine / Until my brain left and it didn’t say bye” and “I am a rebel but yes I’m so militant / Still I’m eligible for disabilities”) are as convincing of his insanity as a 12-year-old telling an obviously fraudulent story of the action he got last summer at overnight camp. Nicki Minaj, meanwhile, has long established her schizo bonafides—listen to “Stupid Hoe” again if you need further evidence of her potential for psychosis—and she packs more lunacy into one syllable of her spot than B.o.B. does in his entire two verses. (The best part, though, comes when she takes a jab at her co-star, singing the hook to his “Airplanes” hit, before adding “Well you gon really need a wish right now / When my crew come through at shooting stars”—well played, Onika.)
In any event, iSHi is up to the task of providing a head-splitting beat for the two to go crazy over, with a scratchy, abrasive hook that manages to still be propulsive in that “Why Stop Now,” buzzing Bangladesh/Diplo-esque kind of way. It’s enough to put B.o.B.’s lackluster psycho-humblebragging over, though in the future, Mr. Ryan might want to be sticking with the emo and the silly rather than with the mentally ill. There are plenty of legit mentally unstable rappers out there, Bobby, you’re better off just doing you.