Tory Lanez

Tory Lanez is all but ubiquitous in Hip Hop, R&B and EDM. The rapper is the go to featured singer across all three genres featuring on some of the biggest songs in the world. With this sort of pedigree you would expect the Toronto rapper/singer to have a bit of an ego, and you'd be absolutely right. From the outset of this record Lanez is interested in begin considered one of the best, He feels the need to tell you throughout the record. The problem is without a big name producer, or a big name rapper Tory just can't carry a song. Each track on MEMORIES DON'T DIE feels like a first pass, barely scratching the surface of the styles He is trying to play in. Nothing hits, and Tory feels like He is playing a game that He doesn't really know the rules too. He says all the right things in the right order to be considered a big time trapper but you find yourself rolling your eyes track after track. "Benevolent" for example sounds like it's trying to be a Kanye song with the hard beat opening that falls into a soul sample and exuberant singing, but it is so mediocre that you can't buy in what so ever. The obvious comparison here is Drake, who Lanez has had beef with in the recent past, but when you listen to these songs it becomes clear that as Drake's star and ability continues to rise Tory Lanez will always be playing catch up. His words have such little artistry and flow to them like on "Real Thing" where he just plainly says "Got a thick dick" before going into yet another barely passable flow. This album has so few topics it's almost maddening. If it isn't about money, bitches or how great He is Tory Lanez isn't talking about it.

Before this record Tory's raps were few and far between focusing far more on the singing, but this album is loaded with basic flow after basic flow. Someone told him He needed to rap more and that was a fucking horrible decision. At 18 tracks and over an hour and ten minutes long MEMORIES DON'T DIE is out of control  massive, and for absolutely no reason. That is one of the reasons I avoided the record until now, because it was just too damn long. It's not like Lanez is doing much with this many tracks either, with the subject matter and even the beats sounding the same eventually. "Pieces" is Lanez' attempt at a rap epic, but He lacks any nuance and instead just recounts a tale where a woman who is raped by her uncle eventually (spoiler alert) kills him only to learn that that Uncle was actually Lanez' dad. His mother tells him this story and He shoots her in the spine. This song however is no "Brenda's Got a Baby" nor Nas' "The Message" (even though it uses the same damn sample, and both tracks are referenced in the actual song), it ends up being this tragic mess of wholly false stories. It's laughable in it's delivery because everything that can possibly go wrong does and somehow Lanez paints himself as the victim in it all. By this time you are desperate for the record to end, or shift into another gear, but its a long crawl until the record graciously ends. A bore from start to finish with almost no redeeming qualities save for the fact that it sounds like an album from 2018, this sophomore effort is the definition of a slump.

4.0 out of 10


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