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Hate it or love it, Nigerians love to claim their own. From Anthony Joshua to Chiwetel Ejiofor, foreign nationals of Nigerian heritage are inspiring a new form of national pride.
Although he is not as well-known as the two names aforementioned, Tobi Lou is on the way to being one of such creatives. The rapper was born in Nigeria where he lived for a while before moving to Chicago, the city that gave us Kanye West and Chance The Rapper, as a child. Since 2015, Tobi has built a reputation for using his quirky sense of humour, child-like style and playful lyrics to make fun songs out of topical issues like his heritage and black rights.
On “Waterboy”, his newest release, Tobi is all about the drip – the term that has come to mean being fashionable and trendy in the age of diamonds and trap music.
It’s a reference that will have you waiting for the usual – thick icy chains and displays of immense swag. That’s not what happens; Tobi wants to drip, for sure. He raps on the hook, “I wanna drip like this, Put some work in in the mornin’, Now I’m on the midnight shift“. But his drip is more literal than you’d expect.
The song opens on a cinematic note. It’s the first sign that Tobi is inviting you into his world where terms like drip don’t necessarily have the same meaning. In this world, Tobi’s a regular guy. Most rappers use the word ‘water’ to allude to the icy state of their diamonds. To this Waterboy, water is just that, water.
In the colourful music video for the song, Tobi turns his drip on by attending to a team of female swimmers. Then, dressed in a white gown, he joins them in the pool as he declares, “Wetter than water, yes I am floodin’, Drippin’ in public, you cannot touch this“.
It’s not a lie. Tobi’s take on swag sits well against a mellow, organic beat that is bouncy enough for you to pull an all-nighter to, yet calm enough to nod along with after your first few listens.
“Waterboy” is big-boy music for regular people. “I wanna drip like a faucet that’s broken, And I wanna fix it, so I’m in the ocean“, Tobi raps, and I completely get it. Us regular boys can drip too. Thank you, Tobi Lou.
Stream Tobi Lou’s “Waterboy” here.