The Drums on Kanye’s “All of the Lights” are Better than Outkast’s “B.O.B.” Discuss.


Today is a day that many people are probably listening to Kanye West’s new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasty. One of its tracks, “All of the Lights,” featuring everyone plus Elton John’s guttural old ass beasting on the chorus, is clearly one of the high points (Are there low points? Don’t hate.), and much of that has to do with the monumental drum programming. Someone here said if Kanye performed it live with a marching band she would cry, but whoever made this beat did it alone, no reinforcements in funny hats. It instantly reminded us of Outkast’s “B.O.B.,” a song that some declared the best of the ’90s almost solely based on the ridiculous drums by Outkast’s in-house production team Earthtone III. Maybe it’s a case of new love/best love, but “All of the Lights” feels like the strongest challenge to that song in a long time, at least in terms of outlandish percussion. Feel free to angrily disagree in the comments.

Kanye West f. John Legend, The-Dream, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, Charlie Wilson, Elly Jackson, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Rihanna and Elton John, “All of the Lights”

Outkast, “B.O.B.”

POSTED November 10, 2010 4:00PM IN MUSIC NEWS Comments (34) TAGS: , ,




  1. Clas! says:

    NO. plain and simple.

  2. Zachg says:

    Aww hell nah! Kanye has been making some great tunes lately, but these drums aren’t touching B.O.B.

  3. bawls says:

    OHHHHHH SHIT. here all the old ass hip hop heads come with their canes ready to cuss you out whippersnapper YOU DONT KNOW SHIT YOUNG BOI.

    yes they kinda are better. BoB obviously has a quality professional booty clap pace to it. yeezy gives you some spastic adderol eye-shaking jerks. does that mean one song is better than the other or that one artist is better than the other? No but here come them nukkas to get at your throat. pause.

  4. Surely you jest. At least give the shit 48 hours to marinate before you proclaim it the best song of the millennium, my dude. Knee-jerk Internet critiques will be the death of us all.

  5. cfboyd says:

    they’re both dope, but the youtube streams dont do either justice

  6. Michael says:

    the freneticism in All of the Lights is beautifully juxtaposed with dat sippin drank that is Rhianna’s voice. paradox ftw. Rispeck. p.s. no low spots duh

  7. Dean says:

    Its alright, but I dont see whats so revolutionary(in either song) about the drums. I loved B.O.B. for its fast pace, the video game-esque synth, and the end chorus’s “POWER/ MUSIC/ ELECTRIC/ REVIVAL” chant. the drums in both are alright, but they aren’t incredibly innovative, their relatively simple- 5 minutes in pro tools.

  8. elevenfive says:

    I angrily disagree.
    Though I do like “All of the Lights” it doesn’t have the same punch that B.O.B. has.
    When B.O.B. came out it was like, whhhoooaaa what is this!! This is like flying through space at ludicrous speed.. even to this day that song is crazy!
    “All of the Lights” is more like “ahhh that’s cool, I like the horns..oh is that rhianna, cool” but it doesn’t make me want to jump around and throw the cat across the room.

  9. toad says:

    from a production value…hell yes.

    ye’s top 3 of all time. period.

  10. juddz says:

    yo nobody is comparing the songs. the man said drums as in just the drums as in not the BEAT just the drums as in THE DRUMS. If you’re gonna negate his opinion at least comment on what he’s talkin about. in the end its all matter of taste.

    yeezy + marching band performance = river of tears for sure.

    also callin PETA on number 9. Stop throwin ya cat B. that shits disgustin’.


  12. Scotty says:

    This song is great for playing in an H&M store or some shit, but if you want actual music stick with B.O.B.

  13. 7ape says:

    Both songs are just ripping off jungle music anyway

  14. 7ape says:

    POS’s Drums are better.. Kanye is a charlatan. :)

  15. sweep says:

    haha that’s what i just said

  16. 7ape says:

    hahaha! Great minds!! ;)

  17. Peter Macia says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but POS drums are a sample, whereas Kanye and Outkast are programmed

  18. Tevone says:

    Sorry But He Needs To Fill ALOT Of Shoes To Try And Top B.O.B
    I Produce As Well It Doesnt Have That Bump Like B.O.B

    Sorry Try Again Kanye

  19. TY says:

    No can listen to B.O.B. like a guitar solo ..All Of The Lights just sounds more professionally rounded.. Kast > Ye

  20. max o says:

    I angrily disagree.

    Also: Top three all time? Come on.

  21. jtk says:

    pete yr my dude but i gotta submit this as best drums of all time :

  22. meaghan says:


    kanye’s drums are better, i think. that’s all.

  23. Anupa says:

    sorry but AHAHAHA at “featuring everyone plus Elton John’s guttural old ass beasting on the chorus”

    also: no. these drums are insane and crazy but B.O.B. just kills you with it.

  24. Bigsby says:

    My brother said Kanye must have paid the cab ride from harlem to soho for this fella right here to come and program those drums…

  25. Joseph says:

    I guess you’re referring to the ‘All of the lights’ drums at their most energetic, which, even then, sound like the result of interesting, though not, great programming, let alone unique in any way. Also, Kanye’s drums sound like a series of 4 short loops carefully placed in the track.

    However, the ‘B.O.B.’ beat has a live feel. In the video it’s played on a sampler, with someone triggering hits, stutters and other percussive sounds. The beat is frantic throughout, each hit is fierce, the tempo is wicked-fast, it’s full of subtle reverse snares and other glitchy sounds.

    Comparing Kanye’s beat to this is literally comparing 4 programmed loops to a fiery live performance that has continued for 10 years to astound listeners. Obviously, means Kanye loses in this comparison.

  26. duttymonster says:

    you must be having a giraffe. not a patch on B.O.B.

  27. chris says:

    my thing is that the drums in all of the lights really sit in the context of the rest of the track in a way that i think is very intentional and ultimately inseparable. i mean, the only thing that sticks out is that snare, but even still, its kind of soft, deflated. in fact, the whole track is a collection of elements, often dualistic in nature (trumpets/synth bass, male/female vocals, elton john/alcia keys, distortion vs natural, droning/bursting chants) , that conspire to create this wonderful ensemble of regal despair. theres this weird distortion on the drums (well, the entire album really) on it so its doesn’t pop (which is why people saying it doesn’t knock like b.o.b.). imo, the driving element in that song are def the trumpet trills. also the kick pattern takes liberties (what, with that secondary kick that adds a kind of off-kilter at points) inconsistent to be driving factors. the drums simply indicate a shift in temperature. in b.o.b. u get the drums and what are basically interjections of synths, riffs, until the beat kind of bridges up to the chorus.

    so to take all of that and ask “are the drums smarter/more creative/cooler” in one or the other… it just doesn’t seem like an appealing question anymore. as basic functionality is so different between the two it is ultimately reduced to more a question of taste i think.

  28. keitai says:

    BOB rhythmically > All of the Lights rhythmically

    not too much to argue there..

    but don’t hate that kanye shit is chugging like a choo choo. the production on this whole album makes me want to cry. HUGE

  29. Jimmy says:

    Kanye’s drums just HIGHLIGHT the drums. There isn’t enough variety, either. Should have been at least a djembe. It’s watered down African percussion inspired, which, I grant you, is better than no African percussion at all.

    But there are certainly better percussion hooks out there.

  30. drums says:

    I adore your site. Good to read about everything that is drummer related, what have you got arriving next?

  31. IllyMilly says:

    er…NO b.o.b is way better drum wize did u not hear the crazy ass drum break downs on b.o.b? @ 2:55 onwards…hellll nah is aotl better lol.

  32. mars says:

    its all and well that Outkast broke some pop ground for lazy dunderheads and put a rapped over what is essentially drum & bass but…thats what it was. Why do popular artists get soooooo much fuckin credit when they plunder sub-genre for a song. Oh yeah, cuz pop critics and radio listeners are clueless yet still make somehow act as a gate way for acceptance and the music world still lets that shit slide in 2010. Now that the internet has smashed the pop ceiling where radio pop and sub-genre co-exist with equally easy access how about we stop pretending there is still a divide? OMG what is this new amazing brilliant sound that taylor swift is singing over (its watered down tropicalia everybody)…instant ground breaking credit. please. ha, i hate how people listen