Bobby Ray Simmons knows a little something about the power of airplanes. The Atlanta native, who goes by the nom de hip-hop B.o.B, scored a big hit with “Airplanes,” featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore, off his 2010 debut album. With the success of that tune, as well as “Nothin’ on You” featuring buddy Bruno Mars, B.o.B has jetted around the globe to perform.
“I didn’t expect that it was going to be so widely accepted,” he says of his buoyant, catchy, left-of-center rhymes, which have translated so well he was swarmed by fans in France. That acceptance helped vault his recent album, “Strange Clouds,” chock full of collaborations with artists such as Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, and even Morgan Freeman, to number five on the Billboard albums chart. B.o.B hops a flight to Boston to appear at the JAM’N 94.5 Summer Jam 2012 on Saturday at the Comcast Center alongside fellow hip-hop stars Minaj, Rick Ross, Wale, and more. We checked in with him from Montreal about his five favorite cities to visit while on tour.
1. Toronto “The women in Toronto are exceptionally gorgeous.”
2. Paris “It’s a hub for fashion and art and, of course, the shopping is amazing there.”
3. Amsterdam “For obvious reasons.” [Laughs.]
4. Tokyo “They really go all the way there with fashion. It’s just really theatrical. You’ll be walking through the street and see a girl with full face paint on and that’s just how she’s dressed for the day. It’s really expressive.”
5. Atlanta “You see I’ve been around the world to Canada and Europe and Japan and now I’m coming back home. It’s my favorite city because it’s where I was raised and where my home is.”
B.o.B plays Summer Jam 2012 Saturday at the Comcast Center at 5 p.m. Tickets: $45-$175. 800-745-3000, www.livenation