WINTER HAS ARRIVED IN ATLANTA. Somewhere in this gem of the South, an artist by the name of RobOlu is growing up. At 6″1′, Robert Ipadeola first got his start in music years ago. Having successfully shaken off an inflection eerily similar to Tyler, the Creator, RobOlu last delivered a project steeped in concepts called Bigger Than Reality. On the cover of his last project, RobOlu was reading a Malcolm Gladwell book.
“The Tipping Point is a book detailing what makes things ‘tip’ or become normal or popular to the common person,” RobOlu told Immersive Atlanta. “On the cover I tried to highlight the beauty in being ratchet with a clash of culture. The photo has pure shock value and the underlying message is me ‘studying’ how to do it accurately.”
But all of that is the past. RobOlu is currently preparing his new project called Boy Meets World, a fun, and even gleeful take on hip-hop in a world RobOlu has built for himself. Immersed in sonics that fit his subject matter, his latest singles in “Tweakin'” and “CANTLETUP” have showcased rapid growth and maturity in his art. Everything feels more calculated by the day for this rapper. A genuine student of the game that is the music business, RobOlu feels ready to deliver what is bound to be the biggest release of his career. The question is… how did he get to this point?
What has 2018 been like for you musically?
2018 has been an interesting year musically. For the greater part, it’s been pretty experimental. I’ve gotten better at producing and making more melodic sounds where I’m actually singing. I’m trying to incorporate that with my raps to create a whole world around my tracks.
What stayed with you from your last project Bigger Than Reality?
You’re always going to grow and create something better than what you made yesterday and the day before. A lot of the songs on BTR were relatively older tracks I had recorded in 2016 and the beginning of 2017. I guess putting out projects faster or not marrying an idea of a track list [stayed with me]. I’m letting things grow and change naturally.
You have not quite claimed Atlanta in your music — citing the Northside, and even Nigeria. What is the perspective of an artist juggling those three places?
I have a culture I can claim as my own which most people don’t get to experience or incorporate within their art. Utilizing Nigerian culture and sonics musically is something I’m excited for the world to hear soon.
What was it like creating Tweakin’?
[laughs] For those who don’t know, I’m a Pisces; it warrants me to be hyper-emotional at times. I think this girl had just left my house and I was listening to a lot of soul music when my boy Zo sent that beat and I guess I just started venting about how she made me feel.
Your most recent solo release Bish, Whet? — what was the creative process there?
I just wanted to make something very ratchet.
You also featured on Keenon Rush’s Headlock with a fiery, explosive verse. How did that record come about?
He called me and said he wanted me on the song so I pulled up to their studio in College Park and punched in my verse. People like the super aggressive and turnt side of me so it was natural.
With your new project on the way, Boy Meets World — What is the significance of this title?
Aside from the show… realizing I’m truly a man in this world moving alone took me a second to accept. It’s basically like a boy meets a world full of people and experiences that inevitably turns him to a man. You can be 40 years old and still be a boy if you can’t handle the curveballs life throws at you. I know some 11 year old men out here.
Around what time were you able to propose a name for this EP?
It’s an EP. When I made the track Boy Meets World, that’s when I decided to start piecing things together.
Production-wise — what was your intent?
Catch a vibe. I’m picky when it comes to beats so it has to literally move me and have me dancing or jigging in order for me to lay something down.
Has your writing process changed?
Not at all. I still punch in all my verses but recently I’ve started writing again to just take things a little deeper and have more concise ideas.
What was the first song you wrote for the EP that ended up earning a spot?
I think “Ruth’s Chris” or “Pop Shit!”
What was the last song you wrote for the EP?
“Somebody” with Jachè.
Your music is released through SpreadTheWealth Studios, is that what we can expect for the EP as well?
Yeah, that’s my creative imprint. I’m still figuring things out but you can expect for it to expand past music.
What can we expect for the music video output?
More thematic visuals with The Digggers and VTapeKen.
What is your personal favorite song on the album?
“Ruth’s Chris”, “Somebody”, “Chris Hansen” + “Boy Meets World”.
Were there songs that didn’t make this album?
A few… but some will be on RobInSeason.
What is one thing that people wouldn’t guess about you from listening to your music?
That I’m extremely personable [laughs] for some reason people get the impression that they can’t talk to me about anything other than music or do anything outside of music but I like being Robert too.
When was the last time you recorded a new song?
Today [laughs] and probably the day this drops too. I’m always creating something new.
What is your criteria for judging if a song should come out?
When you’re DJ’ing in the whip, you put your track on, and it doesn’t kill the vibe [laughs]
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more!