Daystar Peterson a.k.a Tory Lanez is one of hip-hop’s biggest acts to ever
emerge out of Canada. At the start of his professional music career many believed
that he would be stuck in the dark shadow of fellow Toronto giant Drake. Nonetheless,
he has deservedly carved his own path and acquired an international fanbase.
Admired for his creative and vocal versatility, Tory Lanez has been flexing his
rapper/singer duality since his first breakthrough mixtape, ‘Conflicts of my
Soul:The 416 Story’ back in 2013. In this article, we’ll be ranking 5 essential Tory Lanez songs.
Throughout his career, the 27-year-old rapper has offered something for all
fans of his layered music. His ‘Chixtape’ series which have consistently offered
excellent R&B performances, his “New Toronto” mixtape series which have
demonstrated his lyrical talents, or his studio albums which often offer the whole
package. As a result of Tory dropping ‘The New Toronto 3’ mixtape, we
thought it was fitting to go back and look at the five most essential songs
throughout his career. This list includes incorporates songs from
all his mixtapes and albums, prior to his latest release.
Dope Man Go from ‘New Toronto 2’
To start the list, we went with the third track from Tory’s second edition of his ‘New Toronto’ mixtape series. First of all, this hit is arguably Tory’s best track from the project and it’s partially due to the menacing drums provided by C-Sick. This track sees Tory describe his lifestyle which includes shooting dice with “Larry Bird in Barcelona.” He also raps about looking for the dopeman, for the it-guy but he realizes that he’s searching for himself;. This is Tory acknowledging that he’s finally that guy; he’s made it in the industry. This had to have a place in our essential Tory Lanez songs. Listen to the full song here.
Makaveli from ‘New Toronto’
Another essential Tory Lanez song is the opening track to Tory’s first ‘New Toronto’ mixtape. It was produced by frequent collaborator and this project’s executive producer, Play Picasso. The song is an ode to the late Tupac Shakur, who was also known as Makaveli. He discusses wanting to have a lasting legacy, just like his idol Tupac. The album was hosted by DJ Drama who adds additional hype to this fast paced banger. Furthermore, this track is memorable for superb bars such as “On God boy, right now, I own heat, no Pat Riley, made a million dollars rap tourin, I ain’t talkin no Kyle Lowry” from his first verse. Any time Tory Lanez wants to shoot some double entendre’s our way we’ll gladly take them. Listen to the full song here.
Luv from ‘I Told You’
While most songs on this list are grittier in style, we still had to include at least one of his enthralling melodic hits. The third song on our list was the breakout single from his 2016 debut studio album which peaked at #19 on the billboard charts. It earned him a nomination for best R&B song at the Grammy awards. The song contains interpolations from the 1997 hit ‘Everyone Falls In Love Sometimes,” Tory adds his own groove to the melody and makes it his own. This is a modern day-bop that has really aged well and that we’ll be comfortable listening to in the club for years to come. Listen to the full song here.
Next on the list is a 2015 banger which was released at a time where Tory was at his hungriest. The song has Tory paying homage to Tony Montana by saying he’s the new Tony Montana; the protagonist and cocaine kingpin from the classic 1983 film Scarface. Highlights from this essential Tory Lanez song include Tory’s flow switch in his second verse and the extravagant production which has to be heard with the bass boosted on your stereo system. This slapper is celebrated for the line “I just signed a deal for a couple mill, I guess you ain’t the only one that got the hits”.This was seen as a subliminal being shot in Drake’s direction. ‘Diego’ is a slang word for cocaine. It was likely derived from Diego Maradona, a soccer icon who was heavily addicted to the drug. Listen to the full song here.
Benevolent from ‘Memories Don’t Die’
The most essential Tory Lanez song is the sixth track featured on Tory Lanez’ criminally underrated sophomore album. The song was produced by E.C Fresco, Lavi$h, and Play Picasso. This is an introspective track from Tory where he discusses his rough upbringing and how it shaped his character. He brilliantly makes the best use of his usual vocal flair, like on his ‘AH’ ad-lib which sounds like a car screeching, which was the aesthetic he was going for. The beat switch is perfect and the soul sample he uses on the second half of the track fits perfectly as he gets more self-reflective and peaceful. This song is the embodiment of a complete hip-hop song and is a classic. Listen to the full song here.
If you enjoyed our piece on Tory Lanez, you could access our New Toronto 3 review, here.