Hailing from Nigeria and currently based in Toronto, born Oluwatobi Feyisara Ajibolade, popularly known as TOBi, first captivated our ears with his brilliant 2016 debut EP FYi, where tracks like ‘iNDECiSiONS’ and ‘Deeper’ showcased his exceptional talent. Last October, this rising Canadian-based rapper and songwriter continued to elevate his craft with the release of ‘PANIC’, a soulful, funked 12-track project that further solidifies TOBi as a chilling storyteller.
With cleverly written and tightly woven bars, TOBi takes us through pivotal moments in his life’s journey, creating a body of work that beautifully conveys joy and sorrow. He delved into the themes of vulnerability, masculinity, personal family issues and addressed social commentary that were in the zeitgeist when he recorded the album.
In this DM spotlight, I’m thrilled to share five of my personal favourite tracks from TOBi’s latest album ‘PANIC.’
Someone I Knew
In this song, the opening track — propelled by an impactful and mellow beat, TOBi addressed various themes, including the profound impact of Michael Jackson’s passing, the repercussions of falsehoods from individuals around him, and reflections on the triumphs he has achieved over the years. What stands out personally is TOBi’s delivery and the choral voice. The vigour in TOBi’s performance adds an extra layer of dynamism to the narrative, making the listening experience evoke a sense of empowerment.
Flatline ft. Kenny Mason
The song, “Flatline,” was written in collaboration with Kenny Mason. It recalls what might be considered an anthem for superheroes. TOBi’s verses exude confidence as he articulates his accomplishments and draws parallels to the legendary Batman, creating an aura of self-assurance.
This song is a highly impressive display of talent. Its pure velvet underlines his strong penmanship. The velvety smoothness of the music not only pleases the ears but also underscores the TOBi’s dedication to delivering a polished auditory experience.
Keep From Falling
With its soul-stirring qualities, this song serves as a source of comfort, offering a refuge that brings a sense of calmness to the listener and acts as a shield against the turbulence of everyday life.
This particular track holds a special place as my favourite. It exudes a soulful essence that invokes a range of emotions, delivering a profound sense of tranquility and a promise of solace and protection. The melodies and lyrics intertwine harmoniously throughout the song.
Damilare is a music journalist and culture writer focused on the African entertainment industry. Reading new publications and listening to music are two of his favorite pastimes when he is not writing.