First-generation Nigerian and H-town native rapper Tobe Nwigwe is just different.
Gaining traction after addressing the murder of Breonna Taylor in his song, “I Need You To,” Nwigwe navigates the hip hop scene with purpose and intentionality. As seen above, Nwigwe rarely appears in music videos, interviews, and shows without his family far behind. Faith, family, Alief, Texas, and criticism of modern rappers are recurrent themes in each track. With the help of his wife, Fat, and their good friend and female producer, LaNell Grant, he choreographs, designs costumes, and directs each music video independent of any label or company.
On a swing, in a park, minted out with graceful dancers illustrating each bar, Tobe addresses public concerns with the origin story of his and his wife, Fat’s, love story in his newest single, “Undressing Criticism.” In short, many women found Fat’s pursuit of Tobe a display of weakness as Tobe intially rejected her. Despite that, Fat and Tobe remained friends until Tobe was ready to marry her. To respond to fans, they take a step back to point out the bigger issue: people need to heal so that they do not project their pain on others or feel triggered when hearing others’ stories. In a single song, it is evident how to set apart Tobe is from other mainstream rappers that may have resorted to more demeaning ways to make their point. Tobe explains that he did not want to, “seduce [her], abuse [her] or run through [her] like most dudes do,” but wanted to wait until he was ready. Seeing a black man honor his family and fans with dignity is quite refreshing. I recommend anyone looking for music that goes hard but maintains a sense of morality to listen to Nwigwe.
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