The only reason I don’t feel too bad about not knowing what’s going on in Tobi Lou‘s Glassface-directed “Troop” video featuring St. Louis rap-singer Smino is that I’m pretty sure they don’t know either. The trippy, ’90s-themed video references dozens of pop cultural touchstones from the last two decades, from That ’70s Show to Rugrats to Boy Meets World and Frank Ocean posters on Tobi’s wall. By the way, is that Kanye’s Takashi Murakami-designed Dropout Bear?
The dizzying video uses a number of different media to evoke a hazy, weeded-out trip through Tobi’s imagination and for what it’s worth, it looks like a fun place to be. Cartoon characters and pretty girls rapidly fill Lou’s bedroom cipher, while Smino interjects to drop off his signature soulful style with a verse before blasting off through the ceiling as things get more and more chaotic. It all comes grinding to a halt as Tobi’s imaginary companions dissipate while the drugs wear off, leaving him falling in a Sunken Place-like stupor to a padded room.
The song itself is as sunny as the video is bizarre, bouncing along with a cartoony beat self-produced by Tobi with some help from Ordnry Yngstr, Charlie Handsome, DILIP, Maximilian Schönherr, Krs., JuiceBangers, Yugi Boi, and Heaven In Stereo while Tobi celebrates looking like Rudy Huxtable and being as weird as he wants to be. It’s a heck of a flex. Tobi’s got all the makings — and imagination — of a future star.