13 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A few tracks into STILL, the Nigerian-Canadian R&B singer/rapper TOBi dredges up a childhood memory of making his mom buy him a pair of Nikes when he knew she couldn’t afford them. “To you, it meant more than a pair of shoes,” he raps over an ambient instrumental. “To me, it meant more than you ever knew.”

It’s a beautiful detail, alive and awkward and genuine, the kind of thing most artists would leave out or shuffle aside for a grander statement. But that’s the world of STILL. Even when he takes a stand (the jazzy anti-machismo of “City Blues,” for example), TOBi appears refreshingly human, the kind of artist who seems like he’s figuring stuff out in real time and still isn’t quite sure. Or, as he puts it on the album-opening “Growth,” “I call this s**t post-traumatic growth.” Soulful, vulnerable, but never corny, STILL is a strong debut.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A few tracks into STILL, the Nigerian-Canadian R&B singer/rapper TOBi dredges up a childhood memory of making his mom buy him a pair of Nikes when he knew she couldn’t afford them. “To you, it meant more than a pair of shoes,” he raps over an ambient instrumental. “To me, it meant more than you ever knew.”

It’s a beautiful detail, alive and awkward and genuine, the kind of thing most artists would leave out or shuffle aside for a grander statement. But that’s the world of STILL. Even when he takes a stand (the jazzy anti-machismo of “City Blues,” for example), TOBi appears refreshingly human, the kind of artist who seems like he’s figuring stuff out in real time and still isn’t quite sure. Or, as he puts it on the album-opening “Growth,” “I call this s**t post-traumatic growth.” Soulful, vulnerable, but never corny, STILL is a strong debut.

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