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Spiritually Dope

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By Jason Arline
Music Journalist

Tobe Nwigwe, Houston based rapper, has created a unique brand of spiritually uplifting Hip-Hop that has now become a movement to spread positivity through his culturally diverse music. His brand of rap combines the lyricism of Hip-Hop along with the inspirational feelings one gets when listening to gospel songs.

Nwigwe even uses praise dance choreography in his music videos to add uplifting visuals to his music.

Conscious rap pays its respect to the greats like Common, Mos Def and Lupe Fiasco, to name a few. They opted to be more than just a trend and valued the messages they told in their songs.

Tobe Nwigwe does this masterfully while adding his own brand of uplifting realism on the mic.

While listening to his music, you don’t get a sense of the braggadocious behavior we commonly see in rappers. His music emanates an aura of humility and being content with who you are and your roots.

In 2019, Nwigwe toured with his wife Fat and producer LaNell “Nell” Grant on what they called “The Ivory Tour” named after his and Fats newborn daughter Ivory.

“It’s like a family operation,” Nwigwe said in an article by TexasMonthly. “You have to understand we don’t get any radio play. Our biggest market is all on Instagram. We’re not signed to any label, we don’t have a booking agent, we don’t have anything. We are one hundred percent independent. This is all in-house.”

Nwige’s commitment to family along with his music has gained him fans like Jidenna, Erykah Badu, and Michelle Obama who made Nwigwe’s hit song “I’m Dope” a part of her 2020 Spotify Workout Playlist.

Also among the list of celebrities that support Nwigwe, Paul Wall, one of the legendary members of the Houston based label Swishahouse, collaborated with him on the song JUICE.

On the song, Paul Wall and Nwigwe show off their expansive vocabularies and talents as wordsmiths, often using 5 and 6 syllable words in their rhyme schemes. Nwigwe is truly a talented artist and has got the respect of some very powerful people in both politics and music.

“I feel like the message in what I’m doing is a necessity in my culture,” Nwigwe said in a recent interview with MTV News. “I don’t want to limit anybody from really resonating with the actual message”.

Tobe Nwigwe is a star on the rise that is spreading a positive message while still being a dope artist you can listen to with your family. The feelings of humility and spiritual healing you get while listening to his music make him a welcomed addition on anyone’s playlist.

Featured image via Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

Written by: Piper Blake

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