Tory Lanez Traces His Way to the Top

Somewhere between the confrontational interviews, the hit records, and his relentless touring schedule, Tory Lanez found enough time to record an album and tip his hat to the haters in the rearview while while whispering into the wind “I Told You.” The 14 tracks are almost all new and have zero features, instead leaning on notable producers for that magic touch.

If there wasn’t a hot-and-cold beef with the top rapper in the game to bolster the promotion for this album, would we be having this conversation? The answer is a resounding yes. Despite relying heavily on trolling the Six God to generate a buzz, Tory is phenomenal at creating music we want to listen to and nobody can take that from him. “Luv” is destined to be played on beaches in Ibiza and Miami until the sun stops rising and “Say It,” released pre-Drizzy beef, should remind people why they root for the kid in the first place.

They say this game is 10% product and 90% hustle. Even if that were true, I’ve watched Tory hustle for over a decade through every obstacle thrown at him. He grinded through every janky promoter in Toronto, through empty shows, camera phone videos, poorly planned publicity stunts, and motel floor accommodations to get where he is. With everyone and their little brother picking up a mic to be a rapper, how many can say that they went through all of that to chase their dreams?

The problem with “I Told You” is that while the music sounds great, it becomes obvious after a few listens of every record where the inspiration came from. Beyond that, some of the tracks sound like Tory is directly tracing other hit records. We don’t need to remind you that “Luv” borrows more than the beat from Tanto Metro, but when we start connecting the dots, “Loners Blvd” is literally a copycat of Drake’s “Look What You’ve Done” with the pianos and even the same language used.


He recently dropped the video for “Other Side” a few days back and it plays like “We Dem Boyz Part 3” with more-than-similar melodies and sonic production. At this point, it starts to feels like Tory is better at tracing other artist’s hits than he is at making his own. It’s hard to think of an all-time great that traced their entire catalogue around other musicians hits and was still standing in the discussion. Tory must know this – he has been a student of the game for longer than most. While these antics generate chatter and presumably helped lead him to a strong debut with 53,000 sales.

With all of the dirt under his fingernails, the trials and tribulations endured to get where he is and the sweat he has put into the game, this project feels like a missed opportunity to establish himself as a premier artist in the game with his own story to tell. Daystarr has a story that needs to be told — not for his adopted home of Toronto but for Brampton, for the kid brothers out there who don’t grow up in the big city and are picking up a mic and need to know what it is going to take to hit the top of the charts.

Until then, the presumptuous album titles like “I Told You” will just serve as a veneer to keep us at arm’s length from the real Tory.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2016 at 10:32 am and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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