The music Bruno Mars gave to B.o.B. for a classic song
(Credit: Aline Camargo)

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The music Bruno Mars gave to B.o.B. for a classic song

Before he broke out as a Grammy-award-winning singer, Bruno Mars was involved in music production and, during this period, helped the Atlanta rapper B.o.B. with one of his most iconic songs. 

B.o.B. was one of Atlanta’s most promising young MCs during the mid-2000s, and after signing with Atlantic Records in 2006, released several mixtapes and EP’s. However, the Georgia artist didn’t gain much traction until he got presented with a now-beloved song. 

During the mid-2000s, Bruno Mars was part of a production team named the Smeezingtons, and both wrote and produced hits for artists signed to Atlantic. Comprised of Phillip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Bruno Mars, in 2008, the collective assembled a track that they knew was a hit. ‘Nothing On You.’

The track was released as the lead single for B.o.B’s debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, in 2009 and shot to the top of the charts in the US and UK. In an interview with MTV News, Mars told the outlet that he and Lawrence had had the song for a long time, disclosing, “Me and Phil always had that hook. It was a different melody at first, though.”

Mars continued to explain how, at first, it was an old-school rap instrumental, but he decided to add a piano melody, explaining, “It had this old-school hip-hop beat. I said, ‘Gimme the piano,’ and that was the first thing I started playing. Magically, that melody worked with this track we were doing.”

Explaining to magazine how when the label knew it was a hit, Mars disclosed, “I played the intro part for our A&R guy, and he was like, It’s a smash, I want it for B.o.B. I wondered who they’d get to sing the hook, but they took a chance on me on that one.”

Neither B.o.B. or Mars were meant to appear on the track. Jim Jonsin of Atlantic Records once unveiled that Lupe Fiasco’s team had shown interest in the song long before B.o.B’s team appeared. However, the label knew that Bruno Mars, who had produced the track, would compliment B.o.B’s style much better.

In a conversation with MTV News, Mars revealed, “I told Jonsin, ‘I like the song a lot. It’s a smash and could be somebody’s single. But it’s not Lupe’s record. I need this record for B.o.B. Please give this record to B.o.B'” The Mars-produced single was certified three times platinum by the RIAA and platinum by the BPI. You can listen to the classic below.