ACT I: Decatur Psalm
The younger B.o.B could not have imagined being able to host such an extravagant dinner. Due to his family’s financial situation, B.o.B was unable to acquire some of the simple things that most teens take for granted. Pricey sneakers, designer clothes and even cable TV were all foreign to B.o.B at the time.
“Coming up in Decatur, it’s not the worst,” B.o.B said during our interview days after the dinner. “But for the most part, my family struggled. In the wintertime, we were all huddled up over a heater just trying to stay warm. As a kid, I didn’t indulge when it came to sneakers and clothes. I wasn’t the kid that got the new Air Jordans every week when they came out. My biggest worries when I went home were trying to figure out how to get some food and how we were going to stay warm at night. That’s what I thought about when I was younger. But it really helped me to develop a strong work ethic.”
By the age of 13, B.o.B knew that he would have to take drastic measures to help make a better life for his family. He began selling candy at school and eventually made enough profits to hire employees to sell for him. His candy business was so good that he often brought home more money than his father who worked a 9-to-5 job.
At the same time, B.o.B began to experiment with music after buying a DMX CD and listening to artists such as OutKast, Nas and Eminem. He soon produced his own music and decided to test his skills at different open mic events after school.