“Nothin’ On You” by B.o.B (ft. Bruno Mars)
When you tell someone that others “got nothing on you”, that’s another way of saying that he or she is best at whatever attribute(s) they possess which you are referring to. For instance, someone may something like other basketball players “got nothing on” LeBron James.
Well within the context of this song, whom the vocalist(s) is levying that expression towards is his significant other. And as presented in the chorus, Bruno acknowledges that yes, he does in fact possess the wherewithal to ‘chase beautiful girls all across the world’. But since “they got nothing on” his actual sweetheart, he rather opts to remain faithful to her. And thus the theme of the song is set.
Well actually at the onset of the first verse, B.o.B takes it in a slightly different direction by initially noting how he used to be a playa. However, after sowing his oats, if you will, he has come to realize that living such a lifestyle is folly. Or as the vocalist himself puts it, he “lost more than (he) had ever won”.
The exact meaning of that phrase, as put forth, is unknown. But considering the statement that comes after it, it would appear what he is saying is something like even after being with so many women, he still found himself loveless or emotional discontent at the end of the day.
An Amazing Addressee
So as implied in the chorus, which we are introduced to once again following the verse, it is that experience which has made him realize that ‘chasing girls’ all over the place is a ‘waste of time’. But more importantly would be the fact that he has found special someone, that being the addressee. Therefore she should rest assured that even if she does witness him socializing with other women, he’s not going to actually take it there.
Accordingly, the second verse is more focused on the addressee herself. Out of all of his travels – of which, as delineated in the pre-chorus later on, there has been many – the vocalist has never come across a lady who strikes him as she does.
And apparently this isn’t a case of him being infatuated with her looks but instead being truly appreciative of her “style”. For instance, she’s “wild” in bed. Moreover, she ‘pays her taxes’. And whereas that may seem like a weird characteristic to admire in a romantic partner, what it would allude to, generally speaking, is she being responsible, and perhaps we can even say law-abiding.
Moreover she’s heralded as being a “real” chica, i.e. the type who is loyal and authentic. B.o.B then concludes the passage by referring to her as his “Wonder Woman”, with himself being “Mr. Fantastic”.
And when you “stop” and “think about it”, that latter assertion reads as a roundabout shoutout to B.o.B’s ability to stretch, if you get what we mean.
Indeed Bobby is not your conventional hip-hop artist. When other rappers drop songs like this, they are usually filled with overt sexual connotations and references to wealth. But instead, we have B.o.B namedropping the Nintendo 64 to point to his love for the addressee.
Fundamental Message of “Nothin’ On You”
Yet despite the semi-unique approach, the fundamental message is one that is very general and relatable. The vocalist, most simply put, is in love. And as it tends to be when one is stricken with this emotion, his focus is exclusively on the one who makes him feel this way as opposed to other potential romantic interests.
“Nothin’ On You” Facts
Primary Artist(s): B.o.B
Featured Artist(s): Bruno Mars
Album/EP: “B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray”
Was “Nothin’ On You” a single release?
Yes. It was the first single from B.o.B’s maiden album, “B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray”. December 15 of 2009 was the date of its release.
It was written by B.o.B and Bruno Mars in conjunction with songwriters Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine. The song was produced by The Smeezingtons.
What musical Genre(s) is “Nothin’ On You”?
- Pop rap
- Southern hip hop
At the 53rd Grammy Awards, “Nothin’ On You” was nominated for the following awards:
- “Record of the Year”
- “Best Rap Song”
- “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration”
It lost “Record of the year” to “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. It also lost both the “Best Rap Song” and “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” categories to “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys.
The other nominees for each of the aforementioned Grammy categories are as follows:
Record of the Year:
- “Empire State of Mind” – Jay Z and Alicia Keys
- “F*** You” – CeeLo Green
- “Love the Way You Lie” – Eminem and Rihanna
Best Rap Song:
- “Love the Way You Lie” (Eminem and Rihanna)
- “Not Afraid” (Eminem)
- “On to the Next One” (Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz)
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
- Chris Brown with Kevin McCall and Tyga’s “Deuces”
- Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie”
- John Legend and The Roots with Common and Melanie Fiona’s “Wake Up Everybody”
Evan J. Nabavian and Nick Levine of Billboard and Digital Spy respectively, gave a 4 out of 5 rating of the song. Nick referred to the song as a “smash” praising its piano and hook.
In the UK, on May 29 of 2010, “Nothin’ On You” within the first week, replaced “Good Times” by Roll Deep and Jodie Connor to top the chart. It also achieved a similar brilliant feat in the United States.
- Australia – 3
- Canada – 2
- Ireland – 7
- Netherlands – 1
- Scotland – 1
- South Korea – 1
- UK – 1
- US – 1
- Vandarth (2010)
- “Weird Al” Yankovic (2011)
- Audiogroove (2010)
- Kajiwara (2010)
- A-fu (2011)
- Alyssa Alvarez (2011)
Below are some notable songs containing samples of “Nothin’ On You”:
- 360 – “Nothing to Lose” (2010)
- DJ Earworm – “Don’t Stop the Pop” (2010)
- Girl Talk – “This Is the Remix” (2010)
- Mac Miller – “Nothing on Me” (2010)
- Norwegian “Recycling – Miracles” (2010)
- Sean Brown – “Nothin on You” (2010)