New Music

The Writer’s Corner: Smiling Through the Sadness, ‘Tobi Lou And the Loop’


Things are looking up for Tobi Lou. This year the Chicago artist released a project titled tobi lou and the Loop, received a cosign from legendary producer No ID (who agreed to executive produce his forthcoming debut) and had a successful single with the Smino-assisted “Troop,” a track whose video has acquired more than 700,000 views. Tobi Lou is finding his lane and staying true to himself with clever, relatable content and compelling, cartoon-y animations that come off as playful but hold a deeper meaning.

Like a great literary masterpiece or memorable music video, this tape is subversive. This concept-heavy tape may seem like light and fluffy bubblegum Rap for soothing listeners, but its lyrics hold a deeper meaning. On track three “Darlin,” he paints a concerning image of him swimming in self-loathing:

“Raindrop keep falling/Stuck in an apartment/I’m not that important…”

In this song, he seems to be beat down to the point that he can no longer dance in the rain (“I love you but I’m so miserable”) on the opening verse.

Likewise, the follow-up continues that theme of being hurt by the trappings of love, rapping about a girl that stole his heart:

“…But then I saw you last night with that poster boy/And I admit I did a lot, I went overboard/You put a hole in my heart, I can’t close the void…”

Tobi Lou has a talent for storytelling and melody, juxtaposing dark content with fun, breezy beats on over a bellowing, atmospheric beat produced by him and Juice Bangers. It all paints a picture of a lowly loner as he joyfully recites, “takin’ shot after shot like I’m tryna win the MVP.”

Tobi Lou’s exuberance hides his ability to carefully craft concepts. Even when referring to Adventure Time on “Buff Baby,” he juxtaposes the playful chorus with serious messages and mature content.

Tobi Lou And the Loop clocks in at just under 12 minutes. This album is a cohesive mix of true artistry and adventurous expedition into the after-effects of a broken heart. This a nuanced project that runs smoothly all the way through. This dark comedy is a smooth listen.

About Juneil Goode

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