Usually when it’s revealed after the fact that a hit song was offered to another artist before being recorded, it’s a good to know side note just in case Jeff Probst ever brings back Rock & Roll Jeopardy: think “Umbrella” originally going to Britney Spears (“Telephone,” not so much). Yeah, it would have been another notch on the bedpost for the would-be recipient, but ultimately inconsequential. It’s a little different, though, with “Nothin’ on You,” the sappy ballad that just propelled B.o.B.’s The Adventures of Bobby Ray to a Billboard No. 1. Turns out, that track was originally slated for B.o.B.’s fellow Atlantic Records artist Lupe Fiasco, until Bobby Ray producer Jim Jonsin called an audible, convincing Atlantic Records chairman Craig Kallman to let B.o.B. have it instead.
The thing is, couldn’t Lupe have really used a smash hit? The guy’s not exactly swimming in them. He’s developed a steady presence over the course of two albums, but his biggest single is 2007’s moderately successful “Superstar,” which, like “Nothin’ on You,” is built around a huge pop chorus. That serves as a reminder that “Nothin’ on You” didn’t really need B.o.B. to take off: Seriously, we could have mumbled cupcake recipes in between Bruno Mars’s saccharine choruses instead and the song would have still cracked most major radio markets. Sorry, Lupe! Maybe just check in with Bruno and see what else he has kicking around the hard drive?