Bonnaroo Artist | Tobe Nwigwe
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time | Saturday | That Tent | 8:30-9:30pm
Like we’ve been doing for many years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with many of our favorite acts from Bonnaroo‘s 2022 lineup. And, for the first time in three years, we finally feel confident that there definitely will be a Bonnaroo this year, after a postponement then cancelation in 2020 due to Covid, and an unfortunate rainout of last year’s would-be September event. Returned to its traditional timeframe of June 16-19, this marks Bonnaroo’s 21st summer and 19th installment, and features a largely new lineup for the festival’s much-anticipated return!
As we dig through the entire schedule, we’ll highlight a spread of performers spanning across genres and stages, big and small, new and old, to bring you some of the most interesting, lesser-known, and most highly-recommended among this year’s crop of artists. And as our time at ‘Roo approaches, we’ll also be bringing you some special features and full list-style daily lineup guides, to help you plan your weekend ahead of the fest. While these previews won’t span every artist, and might omit some more obvious must-see acts, we hope they’ll serve as a way to help you navigate Bonnaroo’s gargantuan lineup, and to make the most of your busy weekend on the farm!
Grab your tickets right here if you haven’t already, and read on for our Bonnaroo Artist Spotlight!
Hailing from the Houston suburb of Alief, TX, first-generation Nigerian-American Tobe Nwigwe had, originally, envisioned a career playing professional football, even serving as a star linebacker for the University of North Texas with would-be NFL prospects, before an injury his senior year brought Tobe’s plans to a halt and sent him into an existential crisis, reevaluating his future, priorities, and passions. Eventually urged by those around him to turn his knack for freestyling into a more serious musical pursuit, Nwigwe began independently releasing music several years ago, quickly honing his fine-tuned, imposing, and smooth delivery and fresh style, which attracted plenty of positive praise for the rising MC (with a cult following online, thanks to engaging social media), and earned him some impressive fans like Erykah Badu, Sway Calloway, and Dave Chappelle. With regular contributions from his wife and muse Fat and, until recently, producer and collaborator LaNell Grant, Tobe has forged a sound and vibe unlike another other up and coming rapper today, enhanced by a strong and inventive visual aesthetic, and propelled by themes of growing up around violence and hardship, but emerging with a sense of purpose, faith, and a pursuit of excellence, with Nwigwe’s songs regularly professing love for his wife and for God, analyzing his place in the world and a man and as an artist, examining black culture and the state of modern hip hop, and more. While early albums, EPs, mixtapes, playlists, singles, and multimedia releases all brought Nwigwe buzz, it was a 2019 Tiny Desk performance, a shoutout from Michelle Obama, and several entries in his Originals series that really started to blow the rapper up, then a viral track about Breonna Taylor and his fantastic The Pandemic Project album in 2020 that helped assert him as one of the most exciting, sharp, refreshing, and prolific figures in modern hip hop. If we had to peg what stands to be the most festival-stealing performance of the weekend, Tobe Nwigwe would certainly be high on the list.
WATCH | “FYE FYE” feat. Fat Nwigwe (Official Video)
LISTEN | “I’M DOPE” feat. David Michael Wyatt