My Twitter timeline has been talking about Tory Lanez for a while. Tweets either praise his originality or compare him with Bryson Tiller, the Kentucky native who also switches between rapping and singing over moody and melancholic beats.
It was when I saw videos of Lanez performing that I became intrigued with his artistry. It wasn’t the songs off his highly anticipated debut album ‘I Told You’ like ‘Say It’ and ‘Luv’ which the crowds reacted to best but instead songs like ‘Diego’ and ‘LA Confidential’. It was then when I realised that the greatness and artistry of Tory Lanez is at its full potential on his mixtapes and EPs. The ‘Chixtape’ and ‘The New Toronto’ series are prime examples as well as my personal favourite, ‘Conflicts of My Soul’.
Perhaps the mixtape arena allows Lanez the freedom to sample and experiment musically in a way that a major label release such as ‘I Told You’ does not and it is the sampling and experimenting where Lanez is innovative and at his best.
‘Know What’s Up/The Take’, ‘The Mission’, ‘Looks’ and ‘SMN’ are a few of my favourites in his mixtape catalogue.
I’m still not sure if Tory Lanez is a rapper who occasionally sings in the style of Drake or a singer who occasionally raps like Chris Brown. Perhaps he’s neither and trying to force him into a category is restrictive. Lanez does both well. I do prefer his R&B songs though but that’s not to say I don’t like his rap ones; his freestyle of Future’s ‘Shit’ is especially good.
Tory clearly doesn’t want to be solely defined as either and believes he is in his own lane (no pun intended). He lists the genre of his Chixtape 4 mixtape as ‘Swavey’ and I agree with him, he’s creating his own style, regardless of what another Ontario native artist may have said in ‘Summer Sixteen‘.
The videos I’ve seen of Tory Lanez performing are making me even more angry that I couldn’t get tickets to either of his sold-out London shows in April.
I’ve seen Tory crowd surf, jump off stage, perform upside down, hang from a balcony and basically be venue securities worst nightmare.
I hope Tory continues to put out music at the standard of his latest releases ‘Chixtape 4’ and ‘The New Toronto 2’ and hopefully I’ll see him crowd surfing sometime soon.