After releasing more than 10 mixtapes since 2009 and an EP in 2015, Tory Lanez has finally released his debut album, “I Told You,” Friday. Hailing from Toronto, many see the singer-rapper as someone who is following in the steps of Drake, but as Tory Lanez tells us on “I Told You,” he worked hard to get to where he is now.
While Lanez, 24, isn’t a fan of Drake, it’s hard to not compare the two, especially on “I Told You.” Mixing singing and rapping, Lanez even tries his hand at dancehall with “Luv.” Even though Lanez is able to blend multiple styles of music including R&B and trap-sounding hip-hop, it seems that Lanez has yet to find his own style. At times on “I Told You,” Lanez can sound like Future or Fetty Wap while on other songs, such as “Question Is,” Lanez can be himself. The album is also bogged down by its lengthy tracklist which features 28 tracks (14 songs and 14 skits).
Save for a few standout tracks, Lanez’s debut offering is a largely forgettable one but while “I Told You” isn’t Lanez’s best effort, the best songs on the album prove the Canadian artist has what it takes to craft another hit.
1. “Say It”
Tory Lanez’s sampling of Brownstone’s 1994 R&B classic “If You Love Me” has proven to be a major hit for the singer and easily the best track on Lanez’s debut album. From the awesome production to Lanez’s sultry vocals, Lanez is at his best when he takes the R&B route.
Tory Lanez’s second album single also makes use of a 1990s classic, this time sampling Tanto Metro and Devonte’s dancehall classic, “Everyone Falls In Love.” Just like he did with “Say It,” when Lanez sticks to singing, he is one of the best artists in R&B.
3. “Friends With Benefits”
What makes “Friends With Benefits” stand out from the other songs on “I Told You” is the excellent production. With its constant pauses, static and screams, “Friends With Benefits” is reminiscent of The Weeknd’s “The Hills.”
4. “Question Is”
With production by Cardo, Yung Exclusive and Kanye West, Tory Lanez makes use of a smooth beat to give us a view into his life which includes a strained relationship with his family, unborn children and a friend who did him wrong. But the real star of the show in “Question Is” is singer Briana Cash who delivers an excellent hook.
5. “To D.R.E.A.M.”
Even though Tory Lanez is better suited as a singer, his rapping is nothing to scoff at. On “To D.R.E.A.M.,” Tory proves that he can hang with many of today’s rappers and does his best Fetty Wap impression on what is one the album’s best hooks.
Like the song’s title suggests, “Flex” is all about Tory flexing (showing off) on all of his haters and doubters. Mixing singing and rapping, “Flex” has a chance to be a hit single for Lanez.