With a playful and open-ended style, singer/rapper/songwriter Tobi Lou crafted a hybrid sound that backed his floating vocals and raps with mellow, organic instrumentals. The Chicago-based artist began posting his songs online in 2015 and gained a much larger audience when he collaborated with director Glassface on imaginative videos for his songs “Game Ova” and “TROOP” (featuring Smino ). Following a trio of successful 2018 EPs, he delved into full-lengths with 2018’s Cult Classic and its 2019 follow-up Live on Ice. After a prolific run of singles, Lou released 2022’s Non-Perishable.
Tobi Lou was born in Nigeria and lived there briefly before relocating to Chicago while still a child. Growing up in the Windy City, Lou was inspired by the superstars of rap and pop that the city produced, and often cited Chicago artists Kanye West and Common as big early inspirations. He developed a colorful and somewhat childlike style, executing much of his own production with beats that relied heavily on laid-back organic instruments and samples. A creative partnership with director Glassface resulted in several viral videos that paired Lou’s lighthearted and nostalgic sounds with whimsical visual themes. This growing hype continued with the release of three EPs in 2018, all building excitement for a proper debut album, scheduled for an October release that same year. The album, Cult Classic, boasted executive production from Chicago hitmaker No I.D. A single, “My Party,” arrived in July 2019 and paved the way for the full-length Live on Ice. Featured on the project were guest spots by Erica René, Rockie Fresh , Facer , Vernon, and others. Singles like “Endorphins” and “Student Loans” appeared in 2020, followed over the next year by “Gucci” and the Jean Deaux collaboration “WIDE Open.” The latter track, along with the T-Pain -assisted “2hrs+” appeared on Lou’s 2022 album Non-Perishable.