It was only a matter of time before another Canadian artist capitalized off the worldwide impact of Aubrey Graham, thus here comes Tory Lanez who’s another rapper/singer with electro/house/and dancehall roots (sound familiar) that actually has been on his grind for many years, yet only more recently gained notoriety for cover records that became certified smash hits (meanwhile you can never be sure how many fans know their music history - yet to Lanez credit he did make those records his own - and most of them sound damn good).
However despite his success he’s also heard from his fair share of critics, many of whom believe that Lanez is nothing more than a carbon copy of Drake, thus in other words someone who’s far short of an original or any artist worthy of any praise (how’s that for irony). Nonetheless due to his love/hate relationship with the 6 God as well as his resemblance to other rising stars (Bryson Tiller for example), there are certainly high expectations regarding where Lanez goes with his career, yet depending on the interpretation of his artistry he’ll likely always be met with mixed reviews.
His latest project and 16th mixtape entitled The New Toronto 2 is critiqued track by track below, in which Lanez weaves in and out of multiple different styles - sometimes for the better and other times for worse.
Talk To Me Nice / Fargo Season
“Walked in, all cleaned up, man whole clique on bust down, walked in, got 2 "W"s, now I look like touchdown, pulled up in the i8, with a shirt sayin, ‘Why hate?’, ***** talkin, I'ma violate, bitch I'm fuckin up the tristate” A two part introduction with some decent production but both records are Future lite… not trash but we’ve heard a million records that are exactly the same and these do nothing to stand out.
Bal Harbour ft A$AP Ferg
“Pullin up Rolls Royce gave em no choice, when I'm tellin bitches hop in, Rolls Royce gave em no voice, push button and the door close, with a million dollar wardrobe, airplane mode for the phone, all you fuck ***** I ignore those, I be up way in the clouds, cause fuck ***** weighin me down, I made a full circle with the plane, I call that shit playin around” This one produced by C-Sick actually has Lanez goin off for a minute, in which even though I don’t particular care for the content in his raps, for what it’s worth this is actually the best I’ve ever heard him spit. Ferg per usual offers very little to the record (although I’m sure he loves all the fashion references) yet overall this one’s definitely a decent album cut for sure.
“I’m in Givenchy baby, bussin it down and I got it for bitches baby, pull up and stand up we got a Givenchy baby, and all of my ****** is all in Givenchy baby” Through 3 records it’s clear that Tory Lanez is a fan of Givency, the French luxury fashion brand that most of us couldn’t afford. Thus that’s why Lanez tells us all about it in another Futuresque record that, to his credit, is actually somewhat better than what Future can do himself.
Bodmon Song (extended version)
“Mi need a bad one by me, mi need a bad one beside me, they see dem suck pussy boi, try me, bodmon, you can't do ah man grimy” Lanez in his patois bag and I’m not mad em… this one’s decent enough.
Lick x Drive You Crazy
“Ice on Wayne, whole chain on Gretzki, when I start winnin, don't you rap niggas text me, grinnin at the view of your corpses in a fortress, bout to make Forbes list, everything is gorgeous” Lanez back to spittin and truth be told I’m not mad at this either… now who’s the best rapping R&B singer? CB, Trey, Tiller, or Troy? Idk but Troy to his credit is definitely a candidate.
“Foreign bitch and she don't know her grammar, talkin money, only time I understand her, all my pieces here like a scammer, I could fuck the bartender and the dancer” This would be decent if it wasn’t for the lackluster production… for that reason it’s arguable filler and a debatable skip
New Year / $auce Baby
“I like bitches looking good in all their Snapchats, fuck around and make a movie, let me snap that, you can fuck those bitches easy, ain't no Kat Stacks, don't be hatin' on a nigga when I smash that” More of the same as there’s been very little difference from record to record, this is definitely filler and a recommended skip
Bartenders & Spenders
“She been workin at Starlets, said she don't dance, she just bartend, shawty got the whole fuckin bar lit, bring the bottles to the ting get the squad lit” 😴😴😴 Lanez is talented but needs more of an imagination on these records… this is another skip if you ask me
Set It Off x Better
“I still wanna fuck you, you know what I do, shawty, I'm out with the crew, shawty, you know how I move, shawty, I've been with the thugs too, on that avenue, shawty, sellin' on the avenue, you know what I had to do, I'm not 'bout to act with you, you know how I had to move, grimey with the shooters, shawty, that's just how I had to move” 😴😴😴 I’m really sleep as far as this type of content from Lanez but this one’s relative 🔥🔥🔥 thanks to the overall sound of the track produced by Smash David & Retro 1… this one I’d actually recommend.
Super Freak ft Rick Ross
“And I got two bitches on me freaky, you can't bring her home to mama, she too freaky” Produced by Play Picasso & Reazy Renegade this is exactly what it should be… Ross does his numbers and this is debatably the best record on the tape.
“Are you gon' let me demonstrate? shawty I bet that I can fuck you anyway, diamond Pateks and the Audemars, bitch my pieces hit for everything” Produced by C-Sick this one’s more fashion raps but I’m not mad at it for what it is… decent record overall.
“Girl you used to call me baby, and me plus you used to be wavy” Lanez actually tries to halfway sing on this (imagine that) and for that reason it’s almost halfway good, nonetheless it’s still nothing I’d go out of my way to recommend.
“Say the name for a ***** greatest ever, New Toronto very own bitch I made another, made songs 'bout Teyana and Karrueche, I should have pulled some fly shit and had them date each other” Idk how this didn’t get the video treatment but other than Super Freak this is the clear standout on the album, with Tory Lanez talkin that big money Rolls Royce talk yet this time over 🔥🔥🔥 production from AraabMuzik this one is hard not to respect - this is Lanez in his bag and one of his best records to date.
In the end this is a lukewarm throwaway project however Lanez does make a few statements on it, as he continues to solidify himself in this game as a supreme talent with multiple different dimensions, even if his critics would call him a jack of all trades yet a master of none. In reality though the fact that you can find multiple influences in his work shouldn’t automatically come with negative connotations, considering that if he blends all those unique styles in one then by the sheer definition he’s indeed a one-of-a-kind after all.
Take another young recording artist Logic for example, is the fact that he sounds like Cole, Drake, and Kendrick really a bad thing? Would it be better if he sounded like Gucci, Thugger, and Vert? Or perhaps he should have no influences at all and should just be a struggle rapper with no points of reference. Instead let’s come to grips with the fact that EVERY ARTIST is influenced by others who came before them, and if Lanez sounds like Drake and Trey Songz then that’s perfectly fine as long as he makes the same level of quality music.
Furthermore that same sentiment can be applied to his desire to make music like Future and Fetty Wap, in spite of the peculiarity involved considering his vocal talents far exceeds them both. Nonetheless while his artistry shouldn’t be questioned his efficiency is certainly up for debate, thus if he’s to ever claim superstar status then ultimately the music needs to catch up to his reputation.