Now firmly established in the scene Big Tobz drops his debut album Issa Vibe.
Issa Vibe is the body of work people have been waiting for from Big Tobz. This is of course not even close to his first project, but it’s clear that he’s put that extra level of polish and effort into the album. Tobz has been an artist that has been prominent in the game since 2015 when he had his first big hit in ‘Uno My Style’. But in the years between then and now it has felt like he has been finding his feet with things. He had periods of going quietly under the radar despite putting stuff out, with moments where his name and music was everywhere.
It seems he has found the formula on Issa Vibe. It is still the Big Tobz people have come to know, with a predominantly Afro Swing sound, but he gets it so right. But he also gets into his more traditional rapping bag, which he’s no stranger too it’s just that it’s typically his more upbeat stuff that he’s known for. But on the album, he proves that his pen and songwriting ability is not to be slept on at all regardless of the genre.
The project is far from one dimensional, in no small part down to the quality songwriting and production. But more than just sonically having variety, content wise we get to see a bigger picture of who Tobz is. With introspective records like ‘Intro’, ‘WWW’ and ‘Daily Duppy (Relate)’ and the more summer banger type tracks like ‘Stepped In’, ‘Sugar Daddy’, and ‘Island Girl’ the project is well balanced. Another track that needs particular mention is ‘One Hunna’, it pays homage to More Fire Crew‘s classic track ‘Oi’ and it does it excellently and without just recycling what’s been done already.
Issa Vibe boasts an incredibly strong list of features, with artists being called in for 9 tracks. Whilst this is great and in this case works, it is probably the one point of contention with the album as it would have been nice to have Tobz do more tracks on his own. But despite this the features on the project are incredible bringing in the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Mr Eazi, Ling Hussle and more and getting them to bring out the best in Tobz.
All in all Issa Vibe is an excellent debut album from an extremely talented artist. This is definitely going to be a milestone Tobz will be able to look back on proudly later in his career, and hopefully pushes him on to greater heights. It’s well thought out, delivered with great polish, and very well balanced. Hopefully this will kickstart a great year ahead for Big Tobz.