Hailing from Chicago, Tobi Lou has been making noise for the last few years with songs like “Game Ova” and appearances on songs like Tunji Ige’s infectious “Day 2 Day” (then, under the name Wonda) in 2014.
Now, after kicking off the year with his quickstrike tobi lou and the Moon EP, Tobi is back in action with a new single/video called “Troop” featuring Smino—who has been busy himself with tracks alongside T-Pain, Terrace Martin and Cam O’Bi (who actually helped make this collaboration happen)—and produced by Tobi, alongside Ordnry Yngstr, Charlie Handsome, Heaven in Stereo, DILIP, Maximilian Schönherr, JuiceBangers, Yugi Boi, and Krs.
“I always made music sober. I never got high or drunk when I made music. But when I finally moved out of my parents’ house and was on my own out here, I was kind of in my own space,” Tobi Lou told p&p. “I would try to smoke or drink a little and make music, but I was never able to. I would just end up listening to music and shit, but never made anything. It would end up just being a little party by myself. As sad as that shit sounds, I was a little depressed and nothing was going right. I didn’t totally know what to do. I was like my own best friend and I wasn’t really talking to my friends back home.”
For the video, Tobi and director Glassface took a page out of That 70’s Show with a flip on the smoke circle.
“I was high, watching That ’70s Show before I fell asleep. Then I woke up and saw the classic smoke circle. I was just watching and thought to myself that it would be crazy if I was in the smoke circle with fuckin’ cartoons and random ass shit,” he says. “So, I hit Glassface up and told him the idea. ‘TROOP’ is a song about being by yourself, but you can enjoy it and think of it as being with your crew. I made it because when I moved out to LA, I was by myself almost every night. I had to kind of turn up by myself, smoking or drinking or whatever. I was my own troop. So I’m hallucinating and having a trip and I’m imagining these little cartoons and the Kanye bear. Not Kanye, but the Kanye bear. Like, ‘Who would you have dinner with out of anyone in the world?’ The Kanye bear. It’s just one crazy trip.”