Tobe Nwigwe – The Originals
Tobe Nwigwe is an enigma. The lyrics and tone of his music tell the story of a difficult upbringing in Alief, TX. Like other rappers who grew up in the proverbial hood, Tobe’s autobiographical tracks conjure images of gang violence, drug deals, pimps and prostitution. The authenticity in his work is palpable. Still, the man is a beacon of positivity and graciousness. The same songs that describe shootouts and the loss of childhood friends also speak on the power of faith and the importance of purpose.
Tobe has a singular goal in life: “to make purpose popular.” The first-generation-Nigerian kid from Alief (Houston, TX) who had a scholarship to play college ball and dreams of playing in the NFL, saw those dreams dashed by a career-ending foot injury his senior year. In his despair, he turned to his faith and found a new calling; he would teach others to “move through purpose.” Long before he ever put pen to paper and called himself a rapper, Tobe was speaking to rooms full of students through his self-started nonprofit foundation, TEAM GINI, educating them on the merits of a purpose-driven existence. Through tremendous consistency and execution, Tobe has attracted fans across the globe, including culture heavy-weights: Erykah Badu, Sway Calloway and Dave Chappelle.
Thanks Bomani Jones! After you told the story of how you came across Tobe Nwigwe is what made me curious to check out his music. I was hooked right away! I became a bigger fan when you then had him on your show. Big Up, Big Up!!!
- #12 Heat Rock – My favourite song on the album. The beat slowly builds and Tobe goes in right away. When the beat drops he takes on a different paced flow and delivers clear and precise lyrics with several cleaver bars. Tobe is the most unique rapper I listen to and his entire range of styles is shown on this track.
- #13 Reality – One of his softer paced songs. I love the lyrics and word play he wrote for this beat. He paints several images while storytelling about bits of his life. Beat and flow change for about 30 seconds which grabs your attention then drifts back to the original sound and brings it home with a few bars about his wife, Fat.
- #6 Jockin – Fun to listen to. Great beat on this track which really works well with his low locals. He always brings well written verses to his songs but I seem to remember the words of this one more than most. I like the line making fun of people trying to pronounce his name.
- #2 Chill – Heavy bass kicks the song off that slowly builds into a sound that is incredible. Such a unique beat that you want to rap over but the pace is so awkward it would be hard to know when to start or stop. Great tune!
- #10 Sway – At the first you think it’s a fairly regular beat then the fucking school band comes in and blows your ear off. This song brings out the most aggressive Tobe on the album. If I had to see one performance live from him, it would be this song for the music.
- #6 Jockin – This is a trunk rattle song. The Rolling bass that turns into a pulsating thump that almost drowns out Tobe’s lyrics. It ends with the same banging bass with light ‘snaps’ that slow the pace a bit and lets your brain recover.
- #9 100k (ft. Fat & Luke Whitney) – The only track with a feature on it. I like the verse that his wife lays down. They make it seem like she just jumps into the song out of nowhere which makes me chuckle. Fat is credited with another feature on # 1 but it’s not noteworthy. This album is so unique and new it doesn’t need a lot of features. Tobe is killing it alone!
Reasons to Pump: This album came out of nowhere so I didn’t know what to expect. I caught Tobe 6 songs into his song per week pledge and I was hooked. I ran through the first 6 tracks and probably made everyone around me crazy with how often I listened to it. The last time I had a feeling over an artist like this was when I discovered Big KRIT. Tobe raps in a lower tone over top of the most unique beats and sounds in the industry right now. He is one of the more lyrical rappers that have come into the game in the last 5 to 7 years. So many clever bars, interesting rhyme schemes, even in his lovey songs written about his wife. It’s been a year since its release and I still play it constantly. Please check out his music but watch the Youtube videos as well. They bring a totally different feel to the songs!
Reasons to Pass: He has a very odd style and sound. This may not land with some peoples taste in music. All of his songs are short, so it’s a bit annoying when you get into a song and then it’s over after 2 minutes and 10 seconds.