Let me start off by saying this: I am a big fan of Tory Lanez. Well, his music that is. His off-the-mic antics can be a little too extra for me, but since he’s not a child rapist or something of a similar ilk, I can forgive him for having a sassy jump shot and responding to apparent racist behavior from a sales associate by spending frivolously with another sales associate at the same establishment. As far as his music goes, he’s remarkably consistent for the rate that he puts out music. He has put out multiple projects a year for the majority of his career that have all been received well by fans and critics alike. He is also a true dual-threat hip-hop artist as an above average rapper as well as a strong R&B singer/songwriter. Within both of those realms, he has many different flows and deliveries that he sprinkles into his projects, proving that he is one of if not the most versatile artists in hip-hop; even delving into Latin music more recently to add to his resume. Personally, I think that he’s better as an R&B artist and the autotuned falsetto is the best version of Fargo, but he’s proven recently that his skills on the mic are also a force to be reckoned with. With all of that said, his newest project just came out, and we all need to know what’s really REALLY good with it.
- Coming off a strong release earlier in the year with MEMORIES DON’T DIE that showcased his ability as an emcee more than anything else, seems to be going more in the rap direction as of recently
- Regarding his R&B side, his strength lies in his songwriting more so than his actual vocal ability; uses many effects on his vocals but usually knows just what it takes to make them sound good
- Also has recently dabbled in Latin music, which, despite many skeptics, actually turned out pretty well
- Best songs released before LoVE me NOw: “Colt 95“, “Say It,” “Loners Blvd,” “Need A Girl,” “Hate to Say“
- Best projects released before LoVE me NOw: I Told You (Deluxe Version), Chixtape 4
As always, please refer here if you are not familiar with how I score songs/projects.
- Why DON’T You LOVE me?: Lots of common vocal effects over airy production as he speaks as a scorned man, very well delivered hook and good melodic flow on the rapped verses. 4/5
- SHE tOLd Me: Confident delivery from Tory, melodic rap style throughout with many effects over a trap beat. Raps about typical rapper things; flexing and popping off. 3.5/5
- DucK my Ex (feat. Chris Brown & 2 Chainz): Content is self-explanatory, uses the falsetto in standard fashion for him. Chris and Chainz deliver solid performances but nothing super special. 3.5/5
- DrIP DrIp Drip (feat. Meek Mill): This one grew on me. Didn’t like it at first but the hook is catchy, the beat is as well, and Meek actually sounds good with the autotune. Good songwriting. 4/5
- TAlk tO Me (feat. Rich The Kid): Been a staple on the turn-up playlist for some time, it hasn’t got old yet. Similar to the last track, catchy on all fronts on Tory’s part, Rich the Kid subpar tho. 4/5
- FlEXiBle (feat. Chris Brown & Lil Baby): OG Parker with a softer sounding beat than usual, allows Tory and Chris to “flex” their RnB chops. Great hook. Baby verse short and sweet. 4.5/5
- IF iT Ain’T rIGHt (feat. A Boogie wit da Hoodie): No falsetto from Tory here and keeps melodic delivery throughout, A Boogie piggybacks off of Tory’s flow, gets repetitive. 3/5
- FeRRis WhEEL (feat. Trippie Redd): Tory surprisingly gives up hook duties to Trippie Redd, doesn’t disappoint. Tory acts as a feature on his own song, good verse, Back that Azz up homage. 4/5
- CuT me oFF (feat. NAV): Tory links with fellow T. native NAV to croon and beg their girls to stay with them despite their habits. Everything minus Tory’s falsetto is bang average. 3.5/5
- ThE RUn oFF: Upbeat instrumental, heavy bass. Tory melodically delivers some of his thoughts on things that have been stressing him out (ex: feds, baby, baby momma). 3.5/5
- YoU ThouGHt WrONg: Exuberant breakup song, awesome hook. Verses reference how his ex left him and how he’s doing much better now that she’s gone. Very relatable + banger. 4.5/5
- MiAMi (feat. Gunna): Deep, reflective song from Tory, raps about how he came up and past dealings in the streets. Gunna not as deep but provides his natural wave. Hook references “Reservoir Dogs.” 4/5
- KeeP IN tOUcH (feat. Bryson Tiller): Best collaboration on the project, lived up to the hype of the feature. Both Bryson and Tory kill it on the R&B tip, great melodies and songwriting throughout. 4.5/5
- S.w.I.n.G (feat. PnB Rock & Trey Songz): Tory has a good verse here, but the hook is relatively average. Ordinary performances from the features; Trey Songz extra as always, PnB better but not his best. 3.5/5
- KJm: Short for “Kendall Jenner Music.” An upbeat song where Tory Lanez raps about how much he and his team are balling in light of his success. Cliche rap content. 3/5
Tory delivers a decent albeit unspectacular project for his second major release of 2018. I can confidently say that this was a bit of a step down from his previous major releases. As talented and swavey as Tory is, he toils in average far too often on this project. His class as a songwriter shines in spurts and does deliver brilliance on songs like “FlEXiBle” & “YoU ThouGHt WrONg,” but doesn’t utilize his full skill set as a songwriter. He doesn’t commit to rappity-rap nor full-on R&B on any of the songs minus “KeeP IN tOUcH”. He kinda stays in this weird pocket that isn’t fully rap nor fully R&B, which is usually reserved for less talented artists. This is disappointing because when he fully commits to either one on a particular track, he can be special. In a recent interview, Tory spoke about feeling free and not thinking too much about the album process during the making of the project. Whatever the approach was, he needs to return to the old strategy for the next project. Apart from a few brief flashes of greatness, as a fan since Conflicts of My Soul: The 416 Story, I’m disappointed by the drop in quality by Fargo on this project.
Final Score: 72/100