Tobe Nwigwe | moMINTs (EP) | Review
Written by Jannah Rose
Favorite tracks: I connected to Round Here (Part One) and Destruction the most, but
this changes to Lord Forgive Me
Tracks least connected to: Honestly, I don’t have any for this category. Even the Part
Two doesn’t fit here. All too good.
So first, second, and third of all this kicks boooooty! Tobe Nwigwe comes to us from a
strong fan base popularized by celebrities like Erykah Badu, Beyonce, and Michelle
Obama and not a major record label. I knew I was going to be in for a treat because has
Tobe ever let us down? Also, his music videos to market had been so fun to watch. He
is family oriented, focused on promoting love and a strong black family unit, and seems
to hold close to his values.
Nwigwe is from Houston. The cover is mint ice cream color, and in the summertime right
now that’s super appealing. His popular track I Need You in 2020 was all about
Seafoam Green, so this is an update in that same vein. His wife sits on a bench holding
their baby son while his older 2 daughters run around in front of a stage that he’s
lounging on and smiling at us. It exudes comfort, family pride, and joy. Lots of green
trees outside and let’s get going.
This is going to be a quick track breakdown as there are only 5 tracks. 3 of the 5 I had
heard before the album came out because he has put out music videos for them. Put
sneakers on or go barefoot, but let’s move around to this one. Hit play now and let’s
1- ROUND HERE (PART ONE)- He starts speaking, but he is quick to crescendo
twice before the 20-second mark. Being in the field to me has a few layers to it
besides the obvious farming exterior, amongst the people, or just willing to put in
the work. For example, he also played football growing up and was considered
for NFL draft but got injured so he was literally in the field.
Let’s lyric dive. He opens the EP telling us about the neighborhood he grew up in
and “if you come at them backwards, they be where yo’ house at.” “’Round here if
it smell funny, onions gettin’ peeled ‘Round here if it smell funny, get yo’ onion
peeled” Whether his mention of onions getting peeled means being emotionally
vulnerable, or putting in the work and facing hard things. Or maybe the first line represents home cooking for them, and the second part is if you come across
with the wrong energy you will be something serious could happen to you. It’s
just fun to listen. I notice his wording doesn’t tell us what to do instead he talks
about what he does with his family. He lives by example. I learned that he’s a
WWE fan with the Razor Ramon reference at the end.
2- ROUND HERE (PART TWO) feat. Fat Nwigwe- Near indistinct transition which is
necessary for a part 1-2. Here you hear his wife Marticia, aka Fat. Nwigwe. It is
the same words to start as track 1, but she’s so much sweeter in delivery. I
wonder if their children might grow up to participate in the albums as well. I feel
like they would be totally supportive of that. Something that the Nwigwe family
prides themselves on is not being lazy, so the line about not being a ‘house cat’
makes lots of sense. He gives a shout-out to Africans and Aboriginals here which
reminds us he is of Nigerian descent. He speaks in support of getting married
and having a family. This is in part why he’s got the shout-out to the director, John
Witherspoon referring to his Bang bang bang quote from the movie The Friday
After Next. Hahaha
3- BEEN BROKE (feat. Chamillionaire, 2 Chainz, & Fat)- Starts with a pop sound,
but that beat’s coming! He gets to sing about the come up in this song $$$$$.
Maybe he’s starting to bald in his 30s with the mention of Rogaine. Next is 2
Chainz and my favorite line of his is when he mentions a real need for therapy for
the traumas as an African American. Love that normalization! He gets
international in the verse with the mention of Asian, German, and Euros.
For Chamillionaire, rapper turned investor king, to partner with Nwigwe makes
sense as he is known to be more entrepreneurial than musical lately. This
includes him investing in Maker Studio that got bought by Disney where he made
20 mil on that alone, in Lyft, in Cruise that got sold for a billion (unsure how much
went to him), and so many more. All to say, he is an artist who thinks bigger in
terms of generational wealth so I can see him being very interesting to Tobe.
Anyways, Chamillionaire mentions Iceman Nick who is a Houston jeweler,
referencing that he’s also Houston born like Tobe. The line about the rules of
money is a quote from Young Dolph R.I.P. When he mentions all the numbers
those are Houston area codes (713 & 281).
4- DESTRUCTION (feat. Coast Contra)- Coast Conta is a group of 4 and the order
they rap in this song is Ras Austin, RioLoz, Taj Austin, Eric Jamal. They were
new for me so that was exciting. Almost choral sounding in the chorus too. I
looked into them more. You have Ras and Taj as twins from LA, Rio from
Columbia, and Eric from Philadelphia. They all split a 450 sq ft apartment for
years ago while working in a restaurant working towards their dream, but now
are a long way from that. Tobe mentions that people say they want a marriage
like his, but they keep too many women around to let them walk down that path.
He says “Swimming out the pond towards the field where ya don’t belong And
you still ain’t healed from the last one that had you In ya heels big-steppin’
towards destruction.” The field is mentioned again and we learn the pond is the
opposite. The field is fruitful and the pond represents that people need to heal
from past relationships before getting into another otherwise you are asking for
destruction (the title).
Each member of Coast Contra really has a different style. Loving that they each
got a sizable verse and not just 2 lines. Ras goes first. His whole verse seems
like it is to a friend he recently lost to gunshot. He tried to steer him to be a writer,
but he tried to be a gangster instead. Almost a little old school flavor to his verse.
Rio’s verse is a mix between Spanish and English and all flawless. In Spanish he
mentions that they met Tobe when they were in Texas, and how Tobe will
change the world. We learn how Rio may have played the bongos in slum
hallways. Taj almost growls as he raps intensely. A great line from him was
“Watchin’ Moms support a humble abode Now it’s my place to humble the bold.”
Eric is last but with arguably the strongest message about large inadequacies in
race and education. Yes, yes, and yes!!!
5- LORD FORGIVE ME (feat. Fat, Pharrell Williams, EARTHGANG)- EARTHGANG
speaks through the chorus about being dark in the sunshine. Worth listening to
just for this alone. The overall message is about the history and the baggage
people carry even in the prettiest places. From the title you can tell a main giver
of sunshine for them is the lord as Tobe is Christian. Fat does a wonderful job
rapping here. I love that she promises trust funds for her babies. Love the mantra
of generational wealth anywhere we can get it. When he mentions Skateboard P
that is aka Pharrell. Pharrell doesn’t have his own verse, but maybe he sings with
the song some. I can’t tell. The beat is produced by him though and it is
Overall, the Nwigwe couple kills moMINTs even on the very first listen, you don’t need
warm up time. I’ve listened a million times and I would still give the EP a 10/10. I just
love it! I’m happy to keep it short if it’s quality. They went deep into lyrical content,
beats, and used features in a way that added to the deeper meaning and quality of the
Favorite quote: “Tobechukwu Dubem Nwigwe, who cares if it’s hard? You gon’ have to
pronounce that” (ROUND HERE) and “I’m a rarity, every bar is charity, that’s how I give
back” from ROUND HERE (PART ONE)
Ok, now go watch the music videos and get pumped! … and learn to pronounce his full