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B.o.B's big payback
"Crossover ain't nothin' but a double-cross!" Remember that line from The Five Heartbeats, the '90s flick based on the career exploits of a Motown-inspired soul act. Back then black artists worried about compromising their sound for the sake of gaining a pop (read: white) audience; now they worry about being pigeonholed in the 'hood. After getting signed to Atlantic Records on the strength of such street anthems as "Haterz Everywhere," B.o.B's decision to embrace his acoustic guitar-strumming Bobby Ray side threatened to leave his bi-polar debut in limbo. But one ubiquitous Bruno Mars collaboration ("Nothin' On You"), five Grammy nods, and 500,000 certified album sales later, the kid's growing pains seem well worth it.