Who Did “Airplanes” Better — B.o.B Or Lupe Fiasco?

We already know that Lupe originally recorded the song “Nothin’ On You”, and that it went on to be released by B.o.B and became a Grammy-nominated chart-topper for the rising artist. (Lupe, suffice to say, wasn’t too happy about it.) Well, that wasn’t the only Bobby Ray single that could have been Fiasco’s smash hit in an alternate universe – the MC also recorded other Grammy-nomm’d song “Airplanes”. Listen to both versions below and tell us who did it better!

First, here’s the Atlanta rapper’s version, featuring the Paramore frontwoman whom he never met until he finally did:

Now check out Fiasco’s version, in which he raps about two lovers, whereas B.o.B used the song as an expression of handling success:

[wpaudio url="http://cdn.idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Airplanes.mp3" text="Lupe Fiasco feat. Hayley Williams - Airplanes" dl="0"]

The biggest thing missing from Lupe’s version? Energy. Maybe we’re simply used to B.o.B’s take since that’s the version we’re used to, but Bobby Ray’s spirited delivery makes Lupe just come off as disinterested.

But honestly, either way we think this track would have been a hit, since it’s really Hayley’s hook that sells it.

But that’s us. Which version do you prefer? And how bitter do you think Lupe is of B.o.B?

  • EveKeys

    Lupeeee did

  • Ko

    Lupe wasn’t suicidal over “Nothin on You”, it was the process of Atlantic telling him what to do which pushed him nearly over the edge.

    Also, it’s doubtful Lupe is bitter of B.o.B since he even bought the album and gave him a congratulatory cake at a concert. In multiple interviews, Lupe has stated that Atlantic thought his versions of “Nothin on You” and “Airplanes” were “wack.” To which he replied, “all right, so give them to B.o.B.”

    I enjoy both versions for something meant for the radio.

  • The Home Depot

    Let me say this again:

    Lupe has been friends with Bob since ’07. He told Atlantic to give the tracks to BoB because they both didn’t like his take. After they blew up, Lupe personally chose BoB to open for him on his pre-album tour and they’ve released 3 songs together since then. In other words, they’re cool with each other.

    The songs aren’t what hurt Lupe’s psyche, in addition to not being able to make his own music his brother died, and he has said he never really mourned his father and protege who both died while he was making “The Cool”

  • The Home Depot

    Exactly! also \/\/\/\/

  • :)

    Lupe…… to be honest I feel really bad how he gets done, nothin’ on you and now this but I like the way he takes it on the chin and has nothing against bob. He still one of the best rappers and the best rapper, lyrical meaning wise and he’s just sooooooooooooo good


    From a musicians standpoint, I would have to say B.o.B’s version because he fits the style of music better. Lupe’s verse would sound better on a different song.


    By the way, these Lupe fans are going to think Lupe’s sounded better because that f**ker went SUICIDAL over this song (I lost respect after that, I thought that was a bit childish). B.o.B’s verse has WAY more meaning and is just more powerful than Lupe’s version of this song. WHY DO YOU IDIOTS THINK YOUR NOT WORKING AT A STUDIO OR JUDGING MUSIC? Your music IQ is too low. Lupe is good (better than most) but this just wasn’t his song. It’s not that hard to realize this. ATLANTIC RECORDS DEFINITELY MADE THE RIGHT DECISION GOING B.o.B’s route for this song.

  • ^Lolwhat

    Going suicidal is childish? Really? That sentence is what is childish. You can argue whose lyrics have more meaning (I think Lupe does) but his material was way off for what Atlantic wanted. Atlantic wanted a RADIO song which is what B.o.B did. If they want more radio songs then they should never go to Lupe at all because they want him to dumb it down so much. Yes B.o.B has more energy but I believe in lyrics more. So it just depends on what you prefer…

  • Willheim

    B.o.B.’s did have more energy but Lupe’s was smoother and more his style. So I think they’re equal because both artists have different styles of rapping.

  • Sam

    i don’t see Bob version was powerful it sounded more like a screaming to me.
    i prefer lupe’s style and energy in the song

  • hey

    lupe’s version is realer. its like a lot of drakes songs on his album that r amazing, but would not do well on radio. Obviously the label wanted this to be a radio song, not an album song. Both versions are good, but i would personally sit and listen to lupe’s version while i chill out our whatever and B.o.B.’s version i wouldnt trip if it popped up on the radio while driving.