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Art aligns with the times and no one has demonstrated this other than TOBi. The rapper-singer embarks on a journey of self-reflection and then some in his new video for "Growth."
Produced by ClayJay, iLLMIND and Nate Smith, the track is the opener for his debut album STILL and fits the tone of the times. Originally inspired by time growing up in Nigeria and Canada, the video takes us on a journey with TOBi as he derives elements of growth and wonder with dirt and broken glass.
“I gave myself a pat on the back when I wrote ‘Growth,'" TOBi tells VIBE. "I’m proud to be this candid about life, just like my favorite artists. It really is exponential growth in terms of the quality of my mind and my intentions. Look how far we came from deficit to baseline to surplus. I left a powerful affirmation at the end of the song, by saying ‘bigger and better now.’ Like Ace Boogie says, now we just gotta maintain."
There's rain, tears and then some scattered in the visuals, all connecting to TOBi's creative take on masculinity. "I call this s**t post-traumatic growth/Out of Hell, free to go/Send a shout, I propose a toast," he says in the song opener.
Released May of last year, STILL gained critical acclaim thanks to tracks like "City Blues," and "Werking." In September 2017, he gained attention thanks to his song "Hidden Fences" heard on Issa Rae's HBO series, Insecure. He's also worked with the likes of Van Jess and The Game.
Peep the visuals for "Growth" above.
Five years after their first collaboration with DJ Premier, "Think Twice," UK rap group The Four Owls has reunited with the superproducer for a new song, "100%."
Premier creates one of his timeless productions, with his signature scratches and brilliant sample flips. The Four Owls are up to task, spitting worthwhile rhymes over another gem from the GOAT candidate Premo.
"Working with DJ Premier for a second time was like winning the lottery twice, it was the realization of a dream that I had as a teen who was fanatically listening to everything he made," group member Verb T told VIBE. "When we received the beat it was already named 100% and had a rough version of the cuts with the phrases in – which was also the case when we made "Think Twice" – so we took that as inspiration and wrote our verses accordingly. We sat on the beat for a while whilst we tried to get the rest of the album finished, and it’s a proud day to finally be sharing the song with the world."
Along with "100%," The Four Owls' upcoming album Nocturnal Instinct has collaborations with RA The Rugged Man, Roc Marciano, Kool G Rap, Masta Killa (Wu-Tang) and Smellington Piff. The album is scheduled for an April 17 release.
Bassist Brady Watt and West Coast lyricist Demrick made their new EP WAVRIDIN with the perspective of how it would sound live, so on the day of its release, they're releasing a video of them performing the project on stage.
In a performance from January at the Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles, Watt kills it on the bass as Demrick raps alongside him with the backing of a live band.
“I really f**k with Demrick’s sound and his lyrical skills. The whole project is vocals, bass, and drums. Rhymes surfing on the multi-layered bass vibrations and hard ass drums,” Brady Watt said. “I recently moved to LA from Harlem, so I’m really on this sunshine/beach vibe that is very different from my usual habitat. The title of the EP, WAVRIDIN, encapsulates that sound and vibe.”
“Brady’s production style brought out a different vibe from me lyrically. It really pushed me” Demrick explained. "These three songs are a piece of art and we had a live performance aspect in mind while we were creating it.”
Brady Watt and Demrick have each been building their own franchises over the past year. Watt has earned viewership for his "Bass & Bars" series, with appearances by the likes of Benny The Butcher, Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli, Conway The Machine, Jadakiss and more. He also released Demrick rocked three tours with Cypress Hill and Xzibit, along with Dizzy Wright, Problem, Ras Kass and Berner. He also dropped his Tour Talk EP with Problem, a solo album called No Wasting Time, and worked on new music with his Serial Killer groupmates B-Real and Xzibit.
Purchase and stream WAVRIDIN here, and watch them perform the album above.