With a deep breath of fresh air, a daydreamy sensation, and a serene pastel backdrop, rapper/actor/writer ToBy is releasing his breezy new EP THE OUTSIDE, TODAY July 10, 2020 on Magnetic Moon. Coupled with the shimmering curtains of Miami producer oebeats’ instrumentals, ToBy punctuates The Outside EP with depth and power, showcasing his introspective lyrics coupled with an earnest and effortless flow.
Reminiscent of the lo-fi feel of producer/DJ Nujabes and the looming melancholia and booming trap sounds of contemporaries like Travis Scott and Metro Boomin, the EP’s production serves to blend the tranquility of the peaceful outdoors with the chaos and dystopia of modern rap.
The track “Osiris” kicks off the record with a late weekend morning vibe that opens into an agile charge. “I was inspired to write the track because I wanted to explore the tale from the perspectives of Egyptian god Osiris and his brother/eventual betrayer Set as a narrative device,” says ToBy. “I set it up to be similar to Frank Ocean’s ’Pyramids’ which is both a recounting of the tale of Cleopatra and a modernization of its events. The first verse is told through the perspective of Osiris with the hook serving as a foreshadowing of his untimely demise. The second verse flips to his brother Set’s POV as he overthrows and usurps the throne with no remorse.”
2. New Car
4. Play Out
Lyrically, The Outside EP dives deep into ToBy’s range of topics from the personal to personified. After the monumental chronicling of “Osiris,” the second track “New Car” tells a tale of freedom and yearning, an ode to the unrestrained and ends in a plea to escape soul-crushing monotony. “Southside” unfolds a think-piece on the psychological toll that success and stability can take on those who make it out of dangerous upbringings. “Play Out” takes a 180 degree spin, glorifying the high life, full of its sex, agency, and financial comfort, while “Cascades” is the melancholy admission of numbness to a relationship that has run its course. Lastly, “Wishes” bares ToBy’s open soul: his doubts, fears, wonders, and worries in the face of his impending mortality (written and recorded entirely on his 26th birthday). “It achieves unity through specificity in the hope that my life and my interests resonate with the next artistic soul or creative pundit trapped inside the every-man; yearning to escape, yearning to taste life’s cool breath, yearning to finally go outside,” he explains.
ToBy’s life and career has found him tackling entertainment from all sides, acting in multiple Buzzfeed videos to performing in productions of Midsummer Night’s Dream and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. The Outside EP finds ToBy musing not only on these experiences but on all the internal and external experiences that came to define his atmospheric stylings through his multicultural upbringing, growing up both in Haiti and Miami. “It’s a sonic journey through my thoughts and inclinations and a peer into the process that inspires me to write,” says ToBy. “I’ve always felt like my topics and concepts stemmed from an external source, intangible, but ever present. My connection to this source has always felt strongest outside and in specific locations. The rooftop overlooking Port Au Prince, Haiti at my grandma’s house, the deep lush forests and lakes that span the countryside, the lake outside my parents’ house, the beaches that tug at the heartstrings tethering me to my native country.”
The Outside is a collage of feelings across space and time, crafted with layers that further expose themselves on each listen. ToBy creates a form of sonic weather that puts you in his own personal ecosystem. “The outside is the center and all of my stories and creative impulses are catalyzed by its presence.”