Lifestyle July 16, 2020 at 01:16 pm

Meet Tobe Nwigwe, the rapper whose song calling for justice for Breonna Taylor has gone viral

Photo via mfah.org

Houston-based rapper Tobe Nwigwe caught the eyes of Michelle Obama with his 2018 single I’M DOPE, as the former First Lady of the United States added the song to her 2020 go-to #WorkoutPlaylist.

A talented artist, the Nigerian-American, touched by the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain, released a song on Sunday, July 5, calling for justice for the two African-American victims, who both died in the hands of the police. Titled I NEED YOU TO, the 44-second song, which is accompanied by a music video, has since gone viral.

The video currently has over 60k views on YouTube, around 100k views on TikTok and over 700k views on Instagram. Speaking to NBC News, Nwigwe said he was inspired by God on that Sunday to create the song – and he obeyed.

“I woke up and, I promise you, God gave me a vision to do the song,” he said. “I woke up and got a vision to do that song specifically in a public service announcement-type manner.”

The video features cameos from Nwigwe’s wife, Fat Nwigwe, as well as producer LaNell “Nell” Grant. All seated, the video starts with the camera zooming in close on Nwigwe while he calmly sings “I need you to,” creating an impression that it’s going to be like any other normal song. The camera then zooms out while he raps and performs a synchronized choreography with his wife and Grant.

Arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor

All of y’all who think we need more evidence

You goofy,” he raps.

About the video, Nwigwe said it took them “about 30 to 45 minutes to film.”

“It was a little more complex when we first started, but we had to change it up so everybody could execute the moves properly because I wanted to make a statement.”

The viral video is being used by activists on TikTok to call for the arrest of the officers involved in the death of Taylor in the form of a misdirect format – a recent trend Nwigwe said was behind the creation of the song, according to NBC News.

“I wanted to make people think it was going to be some sweet message and be really feathery and then I wanted to hit them hard. I wanted the beat to drop and for people to just really get the message,” he revealed. “It’s the first song I’ve ever done with absolutely no rhyming words.”

On TikTok, users are sharing videos of them about to do something as a decoy to grab people’s attention, before playing and/or performing the song. A meme that has divided opinion with some people questioning its impact and saying social media activism shouldn’t be done in a light-hearted manner, Nwigwe told NBC News he has no issues with people using his song so far as it’s for the common cause – justice for Taylor and McClain.

@iconiccpinkkI actually did it omg ##foryou ##TikTokTaughtMe ##linkinbio♬ original sound – consciousleespeaks

“I think this is the one time I don’t mind the clout chasing because it keeps it at the forefront of people’s mind on a regular basis,” he said. “I’m all for clout chasing … if it’s for an actual good cause. So clout for the cause? I ain’t mad.”

He added: “All the memes, the traction, the song, however people respond to it, love it, whoever reposts it, means absolutely nothing if the people don’t get arrested who killed Breonna Taylor.”

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