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B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore, "Airplanes"
Atlanta rapper/singer B.o.B follows up "Nothin' on You," his No. 1 hit with Bruno Mars, with a more unexpected collaboration, enlisting Paramore's Hayley Williams for the inspired "Airplanes." The rock frontwoman delivers a hook that should have listeners quickly singing along ("I could really use a wish right now, wish right now"), while B.o.B offers introspective rhymes about his transition from underground rapper to burgeoning star. "Somebody take me back to the days/Before this was a job, before I got paid," he raps. "Back when I was rappin' for the hell of it/But nowadays, we rappin' to stay relevant." Rising U.K. producer Alex Da Kid anchors a floating piano melody with a militant drumbeat for an arrangement that feels epic yet intimate. With its universal themes of personal struggle and nostalgia, "Airplanes" is a sure-fire second hit from a bright new talent.-Michael Menachem