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Sunday, September 19, 2021
With this record, Tory Lanez lacks the originality to hold anyone’s attention long enough for mainstream success.

With this record, Tory Lanez lacks the originality to hold anyone’s attention long enough for mainstream success.

New Tory Lanez album is the generic, dollar store equivalent of dancehall music

Tory Lanez, an outspoken rapper and singer hailing from Toronto, released his second full-length album earlier this month with MEMORIES DON’T DIE.

There may have been some truth to the project’s name if the record wasn’t dead on arrival.

The dancehall pop-rap makings of this album were intended to be tracks that would get their air time, be overplayed, annoy everyone stuck in traffic after their hundredth listen and then slowly fade from memory.

The problem with Lanez is that he lacks the originality to hold anyone’s attention long enough for mainstream success. However, you cannot deny his raw talent, especially after pulling off Sway Calloway’s “5 Fingers of Death” freestyle challenge.

The album’s hour and 10-minute-long runtime is spread over 18 tracks which are mostly carbon copies of Lanez’s contemporaries. Outside of the two introspective and almost tear-jerking tracks “Pieces” and “Happiness x Tell Me,” the lyricism and skill from his freestyle never appear on the project.

Instead, he uses a ridiculous autotuned voice far too often that makes it hard to identify whether Lanez is even the one singing. What’s more disappointing is that when Lanez is not running on hollowed singing, he is rapping at an embarrassingly poor skill level. Consider the track “Skrt Skrt,” with the verse “Cause I like freaking/ You like sex on the weekend/ Me too me too,” as one of many examples.

Though I do not mind listening to an artist who takes cues and inspiration from Drake’s “Champagne Papi” style, it doesn’t change the fact that “B.B.W.W x Fake Show” and “Benevolent” sound like leftovers from previous — and much better projects — belonging to the 6 God.

The bulk of the album mostly flows like Drake’s More Life and expresses itself like a shadow of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, but it never achieves enough to merit the same acclaim as either of those records.

The features on the project are equally cringeworthy, as Wiz Khalifa’s opening four bars on “Hillside” take an otherwise tolerable track and make it a downright skippable one. The same goes for NAV’s feature and the painfully average Future feature as well.

What’s most offensive on this project is the uninspired parasite of a track “Hate to Say,” which steals from not just one, but two artists: “3:30AM” by VI Seconds and “P.R.E.A.M.” by R-Mean.

Not only are the song’s beats identical, but the flow is also taken directly from the VI Seconds track.

The smoky, moody and painfully derivative product that is MEMORIES DON’T DIE proves to be another misfire in Tory Lanez’s career. Fans will likely still enjoy this project thanks to the somewhat infectious dance tracks that litter the album. As for other readers, my suggestion is to gloss over the project entirely and look for more original artists.

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Final Grade: D-

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