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B.o.B. puts his head in 'Strange Clouds'

After the massive hits on his debut, B.o.B. is primed for an easy smash of a follow-up, if he just follows the formula. But he probably doesn't even need to do that.

After the massive hits on his debut, B.o.B. is primed for an easy smash of a follow-up, if he just follows the formula. But he probably doesn't even need to do that.

The Atlanta-based MC/multi-instrumentalist gained a worldwide audience with "Nothin' On You" featuring Bruno Mars and "Airplanes," featuring Eminem and Hayley Williams, but he went the opposite direction with his new album, "Strange Clouds."

The new work features such hit makers as Lil Wayne (on the title track), Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, T.I., Trey Songz, and Roscoe Dash. But the stand out guest might be Taylor Swift (see sidebar).

"I approached this with a blank canvas," says the rapper. "I don't really try to hold onto what was successful about the last album."

Now that the album is in stores, the work doesn’t stop for B.o.B. Plans are in the works for an international tour and more music including a collaborative album with T.I., titled "The Man and The Martian."

"It's definitely something," he says. "Right now we are getting both of our solo projects out there. We can't really speak too much about it. We have a few songs recorded for it already though."

‘You Belong with Me’

B.o.B. came into the world 23 years ago as Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr., which sounds almost like the name of a country performer. But that’s not the only reason that Taylor Swift fits right in on the “Strange Clouds” song “Both of Us.” B.o.B. explains how the hip-hop loving country star signed on after he did a guest spot on her tour.

“She arranged for me to come to Dallas to perform ‘Airplanes’ and that’s when I played the song for her,” he says. “She was instantly on board. And we ended up with a masterpiece.”