Underground Luxury Image
Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third full-length studio release for the rapper features guest appearances from 2 Chainz, Chris Brown, Ester Dean, Future, Juicy J, Priscilla Renea, and T.I.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jan 3, 2014
    60
    There is a lot of content geared towards the party, bullshit and get money topics that are present in rap culture. However, the production (which is mostly done by Bobby Ray) evokes a deeper appreciation for his music as a whole.
  2. Jan 3, 2014
    60
    Cobble out the stellar EP inside or consider it a pre-mall mixtape because the puzzling Underground Luxury mixes mack daddy music with mall rat tracks, even if B.o.B's conviction throughout suggests he sees them as equals.
  3. Jan 3, 2014
    50
    Tracks with Future and 2 Chainz highlight his limitations on the mic, and without the Dr. Luke-assisted buoyancy of 2012's Strange Clouds, the album falls flat--moments of well-meaning ambition not withstanding.
  4. Jan 6, 2014
    50
    The rapper/musician born Bobby Ray Simmons Jr. tries to recapture the pop success of his debut with smartly conceived hooky songs while also churning out overly familiar trap-informed grooves.
  5. Jan 3, 2014
    40
    It’s hard to blame B.o.B. for wanting to acclimate himself to a different scene. But the startling lack of creativity he exercises in doing so makes Underground Luxury easy to write off, and the duality that once powered crossover appeal is now hard to detect.
  6. Jan 9, 2014
    40
    His subpar wordplay is easily out-rapped and out-sung by guests like Future and 2 Chainz.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Jan 21, 2014
    10
    I overall enjoyed each and every song on this album. Its another album with a variety of music and genres. I have been a fan of B.o.B for quite a few years, and he has always put out straight up rap, and he has always put out stuff that isn't as much of hip-hop. People are giving him hate because they haven't seen too much rap/trap B.o.B.

    Personally, I think this deserves album of the year, and should not be slept on.

    -a loyal fan
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  2. Jan 10, 2014
    8
    Yes B.o.B has changed and he has more meaningless songs, but there are still many highlights on this album that make it worth listening to. The songs paper route, nobody told me, one day, coastline, back me up, and John Doe still have great lyrics and message. Songs like read and headband may drag it down a bit but overall it is still mostly the old bob with some added club tracks In there. Expand
  3. Jan 12, 2014
    7
    I liked the sound of this album, almost Outkast-ish with his eclectic use of sound, although a bit too much singing for my taste and not enough lyrical output, sort of speak. I liked about half of the songs on the album tho.' Overall not his best album but better than most of the sh*t out today. Expand
  4. Jan 4, 2014
    4
    I feel like 3 major problems plague this album, and the first (and biggest) is the lyrics. Look, I get not wanting to always be so serious with your subject matter & just having some fun once in a while. Heck, he's already done that really well in the past. But you know what the different was there? He was actually TRYING. There was actually some level of cleverness in the content. Meanwhile about 2/3 of this album is the same old odes to hedonism, arrogance & greed we've heard a million times in the hip hop genre, with nothing to add to it whatsoever. And it's not like I have a complete bias against this brand of rap music, since some rappers know how to inject it with personality that can make these tales of debauchery distinctly enjoyable in their goofiness, humor, creativity & self-awareness. Whereas here, B.o.B is simply half-assing it, with no witty punchlines to be found. Nothing is there to separate him from the crowd of moronic no-talent rappers talking about the exact same stuff, and some of the flows are just insultingly lazy. The problem isn't that it's shallow, but that it's BORING. This leads me to the 2nd problem: the features. Speaking of these morons, 3 of them appear on this album: 2 Chainz, Future, and Chris Brown, who at this point have no excuse for having careers, and they do nothing but embarrass themselves once again. Future doesn't even do a verse on “Ready”, but rather he sings the hook, and it's even worse than that concept already sounds. The 3rd problem is the production. I might be able to tolerate these songs if they at least came with B.o.B's unique musicianship & great ear for beats, but nope. Instead this album is dominated by empty, bland & generic trap beats that have absolutely nothing to offer sonically or melodically.

    Fortunately, there are a few great moments scattered throughout the track list. Basically, here B.o.B is going to completely different extremes, back & forth between fantastic songs that showed him successfully experimenting with & developing his sound & awkwardly forced swag-&-sex brag-rap. A better title for this album would be B.o.B's Identity Crisis, since he seems to have no idea what he wants to be anymore, and contradicts himself left & right morally. Case in point: “Nobody Told Me” & “Coastline” both deal with the strain fame puts on personal relationships & his own mental well-being, saying that what the hedonistic life he leads could cause nothing but harm. But then he turns around on the next song obnoxiously bragging about his wealth & telling all the girls in the club to twerk on his dick, with no remorse or self-awareness whatsoever. On a purely positive note though, “John Doe” interestingly tackles both that first “fame” topic and the hypothetical one of if this lifestyle led him to alcoholism. “Paper Route” touches on important political issues like governmental corruption & what they do to ruin musicians who try to be outspoken about certain world issues. “One Day” sincerely details B.o.B's rise from a low-class childhood to his successful current life, which “All I Want” also tries to do but really just spends half being absurdly greedy & half clumsily trying to justify it through mentioning that past. It's also worth mentioning that these better tracks have far better production & more organic, layered instrumentation.

    The last thing I want to talk about is why exactly a change like this would take place, and to me there are 4 possible reasons. 1: this is all sincere & he's just become an egotist douche, which I really hope isn't the case. 2: he's run out of real stuff to talk about & he's just pumping out albums for money. 3: the easy assumption, that he's selling out to the mainstream after a near-bombed sophomore album. This would be easy to believe, but you've gotta think about what exactly the “mainstream” is right now. Nowadays the crap like what's on this album peaks at around #30 at highest, as shown by the dismal performance of this album's singles. And considering guest appearances by rappers like Future, who aren't too well-known in the mainstream. Which leads to my 4th theory: he sold out to hip hop fans. Let me explain: the general reaction to a B.o.B story on rap news sites from what I've seen consists of people whining that he's “soft” or “poppy” or “cheesy”. What I think happened is that he got worried about his perception in the rap game, and now he's doing everything in his power to become some tough-guy wannabe. But as shown by the fan reaction to this change in direction, it's backfiring, and now rather than getting more respect in the underground, he's just getting less respect everywhere.

    Top 5 tracks: Coastline, One Day, Paper Route, John Doe, Nobody Told Me
    Score: 48/100
    (For a longer more detailed review, go to my Facebook page That Not-Elitist Music Fan.)
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  5. Mar 21, 2014
    1
    This album is BUNK. It is TERRIBLE. With this album B.O.B. has forsaken all the things that made him stand above the rest. Lyrics that just talk about money, rims and hoes. Beats with no class (reminiscent of lil john or waka flacka) and no style. I was so excited for his third album and in the end will probably never even give it another listen. I hesitate to say that B.O.B. has sold out but this album makes a very good case for the selling out argument. Maybe he just bumped his head or was krunked when he recorded it. Lets hope he comes back strong with classic B.O.B. on his next album. DO NOT BUY THIS ALBUM! IT IS A WASTE OF YOUR MONEY! If anything send B.O.B. messages of disappointment. Expand