Putting Tracks on the Map with Trish: Tobi Lou

Chicago is one of many cities that has cultivated renowned hip hop artists such as Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, and Vic Mensa. In an area saturated with many people attempting to rise to fame within the music business, Nigerian-born rapper Tobi Lou stands out among the rest.

Tobi Lou incorporates heavily-synthesized beats, R&B-influenced choruses, and exuberant wordplay in his work. This is seen in two of his EPs, tobi lou and the Loop and tobi lou and the Juice.

The music video for “Buff Baby,” which is featured in tobi lou and the Loop, pays homage to Adventure Time’s “Memory of a Memory” episode. The artwork seen in this music video is also consistent with the cover art of his EPs and singles.

Just like the Chicago-native rappers that precede him, Tobi Lou’s ability to bring his usual rapid-fire flow to a halt is not to be taken lightly.

Within the cheery instrumentals of Tobi Lou’s music lies lyrics that echo the true nature of millennial customs, the misadventures of romantic prospects, reflection on mental illness, and the struggles of self-discovery.

The rapper’s versatility can be seen through the topics of his songs. “Lavender Town, Pt. 1” is a more mellow, introspective track of Tobi Lou’s that encompass his fear of failure in the music industry, whereas “Billy” and “Birthday Boy” bring a whimsical, light-hearted twist to his depression. Other songs include: “The Blue,” a nostalgic recollection of failed first loves; “The Fun” and “Hopefully,” which serve as commentary on party culture and the dangers of pressure; and “Solange,” an account of embracing black culture.

Tobi Lou’s discography embodies the theme of coming-of-age. His music is an invitation to listeners to hear and connect with a musical diary.

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— Patricia Damocles, Asst. Poetry Editor; Asst. Layout Editor; Communications & Media Editor

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