Tory Lanez made a permanent mark on the hip-hop scene with his singles “Luv” and “Say It”, which are both featured on his debut album I Told You, though his long time fans know that he has been working his way to stardom for some years now. The Toronto rapper has released over a dozen mixtapes and even had a hit single back in 2015; “B.L.O.W.”, so to say this album was highly anticipated is an understatement. I Told You is a marriage of 14 songs and 14 skits which together tell Tory’s story from being homeless at 16-years-old and forced to sleep at his girlfriend’s house, to present day having a platinum hit and selling out concert venues. He is not afraid to be honest with his fans and reveals that there are many layers to his character. Tory goes from rapping about his life of crime and hustling in “Dirty Money” to crooning “It don’t take a lot to keep it unpredictable. As long as you let me love your heart and touch your soul” in “Cold Hard Love”. Yes, you read that right, he not only raps but sings as well!
Fortunately for me, I was able to experience this live at the I Told You tour which hit Irving Plaza on December 9th. There were an array of openers which included Jacquees, Kranium and the legendary Shaggy who blessed us and performed “It Wasn’t Me” before the man of the hour hit the stage opening with “Makaveli”. Personally, I have never seen a hip-hop artist give a show as engaging as he did. He spent a good portion of the concert in the crowd with us, no security, just him and his mic and made sure V.I.P wasn’t left out of the fun and climbed to their railing before closing the show out. Unfortunately, I was too mesmerized to truly capture his singing ability aside from the few seconds he sang “It feels like love” acapella, but let me assure you, the man can SANG! I’d have to say that him singing and storytelling in-between songs was my favorite part of the concert. It really made his show personal and had me feeling like he was one of my boys. Overall it was the best hip-hop concert I have been to thus far and genuinely one of my favorite albums of 2016.
MUST HEAR: I Told You, Guns and Roses, Cold Hard Love, Dirty Money
5/FIFTHS RATING: 10/10
Header image via Straight