Seventy Nine Minutes with Tory Lanez


Mimi Hibben

Versatile doesn’t even begin to identify Tory Lanez. From redefining the overlap of rap and R&B, to incorporating the seamless beauty of production through his beats, Lanez has been on the come-up since he first started underground in 2010. His latest reveal, the captivating studio album titled I Told You, does nothing but unravel the journey the artist has undergone to get where he is.

Lanez has been en route to rising above the Toronto shadow of Drake for the past 5 years. And although it’s going to take a hell of a lot more for the artist to overshadow the OVO movement Drake’s created, I Told You has already been preached as it’s own religion. With this being the very first full-length studio album Lanez has debuted since 2015 singles “B.L.O.W.” and “Say It”, the bar was set, we’ve all been waiting, and he’s finally hit the ground running.

The 79-minute album falls on the artist’s usual vocal spectrum- rugged boasts and smooth come-ups. Similar to his previous mixtapes, The New Toronto and Chixtape 3, I Told You is motivated toward dispersing his unique sound straight down the middle. And although some may argue that Lanez is better at soaring vocals than witty raps, there is a captivation and awe that comes with his ability in both. Weaving 1-2 minute “skits” between each song; the artist reveals short commentary about his life. These interludes play as a looking glass that gives us the ability to grasp a better understanding surrounding the climb Lanez has endured musically and mentally.

Ultimately, the artist has been working toward creating something that is an accurate depiction of his own musical expression. I Told You is an incredible example of how the rap/R&B world is evolving, and Lanez is just one of the many artists who is rapidly breaking the barriers that separate the two genres. This album is a celebration that showcases several different elements of music, so if you have a little over an hour to spare, I urge you to take it in for yourself.