Tobe Nwigwe shines a spotlight on rap music

Courtesy of ETA Records

Tobe Nwigwe is a Nigerian American rapper who expresses his appreciation for his culture through his lyrics. Since 2016, he has released several albums, and his songs, such as “Eat” and “Try Jesus,” have more than 1 million views on his YouTube channel. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, in a guest lecture hosted by the Associated Students Program Board, Nwigwe gave a guest lecture on his music career. 

The event started with him sharing his newest music video for his song, “Fye Fye,” featuring Fat Nwigwe. Afterward, Nwigwe explained that the video was shot in Brewster Park in Houston, Texas. He felt that it was the biggest production that he has done so far. When speaking of the location of the music video, Nwigwe said, “I wanted to bring a sense of what I deem high level art to the hood.” He went on to state that his music “started off as trash,” explaining, “I just refined it, refined it … until I knew exactly what I wanted to do.”

From the start, Nwigwe made it clear that he was there to interact with the audience. He kept his introduction brief and immediately jumped into the student Q&A portion of the event. One student, Ester Esho, asked Nwigwe what his inspiration was for his music. Nwigwe replied that he is mainly inspired by “the spirit of God” and that he always stays true to his principles and beliefs. Later, he also talked about how his wife, Fat Nwigwe, helped him come up with many creative ideas. “Every single thing that I do, I get her opinion on,” Nwigwe stated. He mentioned that before they met, she wasn’t too invested in rap music, so she offers a fresh perspective on his own music. 

Before answering more questions, Nwigwe showed another music video for his song “Make It Home.” This song is part of one of his more recent albums titled “The Pandemic Project,” an album that revolves around the recent rise in the Black Lives Matter movement and the struggles that Black people have endured for too many years. The video features himself and three other Black people dancing in an all white room to a song that expresses Nwigwe’s wish for every Black person to safely make it home at the end of the day. 

Katey O’Neill asked him what advice he would give to others that are interested in pursuing a career in entertainment, and Nwigwe suggested that people should know who they are first. He warned that joining the entertainment industry meant having to build a persona that would attract an audience. Once an audience is acquired, they will expect to continue seeing the type of content that they liked in the first place. Change is difficult to do in the entertainment industry because it could require appealing to a new type of audience, so it’s better to be certain of who you want to be before chasing stardom.

Nwigwe has created many beautiful songs that reflect his beliefs and desires for a better world. During this lecture, he showed that he was down-to-earth in the way he interacted with the audience members. Check out his music if you have not heard any of his songs already, and if you missed this lecture, be sure to attend the next one. On May 24, ASPB will behosting “Deaf and Dapper with Chella Man.” Check out their social media pages for more details. 

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