After serious controversy over his beef with Drake in a battle for the best out of the 6, Tory Lanez released his debut album, I Told You on August 19. With hit singles like, “Say It”, “Luv”, and his “Controlla remix”, which is arguably better than Drake’s original track, Tory Lanez’s album was long awaited.
On the first listen, Tory Lanez continues his singer/rapper combination in an album that paints the picture of his musical journey. Singing over trap beats is a common theme in today’s music and Tory Lanez is at the fore of that movement. The media often highlights Tory for his singing, but he’s also a competent rapper. In songs like “To D.R.E.A.M.”, he flexes his lyrical prowess and proves if you are sleeping on his bars, it’s time to stop. Actually, following his performance at the 2016 B.E.T. Awards, it might be fair to say that Tory Lanez is a better rapper than he is a singer.
But on the second listen, you’ll catch yourself dwelling on songs like “Cold Hard Love” and “4am Flex” and wonder if you’ve heard these songs somewhere before. You would be right, because many of the songs are eerily reminiscent of other artists’ work.
On the “To D.R.E.A.M.” hook, he sounds exactly like Fetty Wap. And it seems he’s not even trying to hide it. The end of “4am Flex” feels like an add-on to Kendrick Lamar’s “Art of Peer Pressure”. We don’t know if he is paying homage to these artists or just trying out different sounds – but those sounds are not quite different enough. If he wanted to release an album that sounds like a bunch of covers, he should have just put it on SoundCloud. It also seems as if he took the skit/song idea from Kendrick and YG, but the album feels overloaded with skits. At a certain point, you get kind of tired of the story and just want the music to continue.
If Tory Lanez wants to become the best person in the 6, then he definitely has to create his own style, separate from others. For such a highly anticipated album, it’s sort of a bummer that he created work that can be found anywhere on the internet, or on one of his mixtapes.