Tory Lanez 'Memories Don't Die' review
Ever since his debut album I Told You back in 2016, Tory Lanez has been a particular individual in regarding his career as an artist. Despite being focused on dropping new material and creating memorable moments at his shows, it always seems like Tory’s name is always involved in some minor controversy. From accusations of him stealing someone's beat, song, or style, his supposed beef with Drake right before the two squashed it, or just his overall antics.
But even distractions don’t prevent him from remaining focused on making his mark in the music world. The last time we heard from Tory was last year when he dropped his 2 for 1 special mixtapes, The New Toronto 2 and Chixtape 4. Although his debut album I Told You was off to a mellow start on the road to commercial success, plenty was to be said by critics in regarding Tory’s heavy sample usage.
Prior to releasing his sophomore effort, Memories Don’t Die, Tory left a message on his Instagram post stating that his music for this album was going to contain ORIGINAL sounds and no remix samples. Tory is sending a clear message out to the listeners to pay close attention to the music because he’s more than just remaking old school songs with a twist.
With the album title, the overall theme speaks for itself. Memories can play a huge significant role in our lives and can serve as life reminders of where we came from, who we used to be, and tells us we’ve came a long way. Change is always a consistent promise in our lives but the power of nostalgia always prevails. That’s exactly how Daystar Peterson feels when it comes to his past life playing a role in the making of this body of work. Bits and pieces that come from different songs on the album contains certain memories that come from Tory’s past growing up in Toronto Canada. He flexes his versatility all throughout the album showcasing all the genres, from rap/hip=hop, trap, R&B, some soul and a little bit of pop as well.
It’s been one of Tory’s strongest suits musically even during his Fargo Friday days. He can go from flexing his melodic trap ballad muscles on records like Shooters, Real Thing, B.I.D. to singing on records like 4 Me, Skrt Skrt & even rap on records like Benevolent, Hate to Say, Old Friends x New Foes, B.B.W.W. x Fake Show, etc. Even though there were plenty of different sounds and vibes on the album, I saw that there was much more focus on the Hip-Hop aspect of things. He’s revisiting a lot of sounds and styles from when he’s dropping mixtapes like The New Toronto, Chixtape, and his Fargo Friday series. This album contains an all star cast of artist including Future, Fabolous, 50 Cent Mansa, Nav, Wiz Khalifa, & Paloma Ford. Also his team of producers throughout the album remain in-house such as Play Picasso as well as including C-Sick, OG Parker, AraabMUZIK, Nick Fouryn Smash David, etc.
One of the stand out records for me was his record with 50 titled Pieces, where he’s telling the story about a Brooklyn woman who was raped by her uncle and then she retaliates by killing him, Tory mentioned via his Beats 1 Radio interview that he considers 50 to be one of his idols. “He’s like a mentor to me. Every time, I’ll sit there and talk with him for hour and he’ll sit there and tell me the stories and tell me you like all of this stuff and the s*** is crazy. Like that’s like one of my favorite people like period point blank. Like one of my favorite artists, one of my favorite rappers like point blank period you know I’m saying” he says.
Memories Don’t Die showcases Tory’s growth as an artist. This album sounds more polished and focused compared to its predecessor I Told You. Tory is showing that he’s focused more than ever on creating a body of work that his fan base will resonate with. “I built a foundation under me of fans that love me for my projects,” he said on his Hot 97 album when it came towards how he approached creating this album. I like it when artists are more focused on creating a great body of work than just chasing singles. History shows that when an artist is focused more on creating a body of work that resonates with the listeners as a whole versus chasing hit singles, success is more likely to come to you. Tory has proven time and time again to never count him out because he will make sure to always prevail.
For me personally, the only two downsides for this album consists of lacking those strong singles like Say It & Luv and also at times throughout the album, it can draw out a listener's interest to the point of actually cutting off the album before actually being able to finish it. Either way it goes, he’s stepped up a lot from his debut album and is solidifying himself into this music regardless of what the people got to say about him. When he’s does music like this, it sounds so much more authentic and more like whereas on his debut, even though he was telling his story, it almost felt like he was almost taking bits and pieces from Kendrick Good Kid, Maad City debut. Not to mention it felt his debut was all over the place and not so focused whereas this time around he’s more focused The way he walks around its like he always has something to prove and has every reason to feel that way. Even with all of the negative things people have to say in regarding his accusations, I still believe Tory has his lane and place in the hip-hop world and will leave a good mark in the game.