After patiently waiting and many mixtapes later, Tory Lanez’s debut project, I Told You, is finally here! For some, the first time they may have ever even heard of this young man would be with his 2015 hit “Say It.” For others, they have been following the 24-year-old Canadian native for many years, heard many of his mixtapes, and have prayed and anticipated this moment.
Friday (Aug 19), Daystar Peterson aka, Tory Lanez released the project to the world. I Told You consists of 28 tracks, 14 of which are skits; so the album truly contains 14 songs and 14 skits, as the skits follow each song. The album holds head singles like the smooth, contagious “Say It,” bubbly, island-toned “Luv,” and the confident “Flex.” Lanez is completely solo on the project; the album contains no features whatsoever. The album really puts Lanez at the front of the project and really displays his authenticity, versatility, and style.
Mr. Lanez is definitely not new to the music game. The young man has been releasing music since 2009. He has released more than 10 mixtapes and an EP. I Told You marks the artist’s first studio album and it really shows, who exactly Tory Lanez is and why he is here.
One characteristic that all music and albums must possess is the ability to create a story. Personally, I feel that Tory delivers that characteristic in I Told You. The skits are honestly amazing. As a person who sat with his older cousin as a kid and listened to the skits on Kanye West’s 2004 College Dropout album, I truly appreciated the skits. They figuratively and literally set the tone for the album (as the first track is a skit). As the first skit plays, the vulnerability is already shown as fans first learn Tory Lanez real name (if you didn’t know prior to this) and hear his grandmother screaming, shouting, and ultimately kicking him out of the house. From the moment the first skit is played, you already get a sense of how open and raw the artist intends to be with the audience as we progress through this journey.
The album is not necessarily Lanez’s best work. It does not possess that monumental “WOW” factor. The album does not possess that timeless piece. Some of the tracks are rather unmemorable, while others flourish and stand out completely on their own. Regardless, Lanez’s versatility rises above all and still helps to create a pretty decent debut album. Just as his “adversary” (some might say) Drake does, Lanez heavily switches from singing to rapping in I Told You. Parts of his flow and skill somewhat mirror that of Drake and some might try to say Lanez is “biting” his style, but that is not the case. Also I noticed, in some songs he even humorously sounds like Future and even Fetty Wap!
Let’s make it clear though, Lanez style is on its own level. His voice can switch from rugged and rough to smooth, calming and soft. His style exhibits this trap, Hip Hop, and R&B style all in one. His rapping skill is also something not to be toyed with. Lanez delivers some pretty captivating flow. Sadly, many of the tracks sound similar and just are not memorable. The skits have a more powerful presence than some of the songs.
The more standout type tracks (besides the singles we have already heard and love) are: “Guns and Roses,” “Friends With Benefits,” “Cold Hard Love,” “High,” To D.R.E.A.M,” and “Question Is,” Each of these tracks are different from one another and reveals various parts of Tory that help to show who he really is. The lyrics are raw, genuine, and authentic. I think that is what I appreciate most about Tory and this album, it’s truly genuine. From the opening skit, we are shown this side of Tory that we did not know before. I Told You is like a memoir. We see Tory dealing with a life of crime, find a way out through music, get drawn back into the criminal life style, and much more. In some of the skits, Tory is simply talking, explaining his thoughts, emotions, and feelings as he faces these various trials and tribulations in his life.
By the end of the album we begin to witness his “come-up” if you will. We see him gradually leave a life that ultimately would have left him dead, to a life that many never thought he could see; hence the title, “I Told You,” because Tory had a dream and he could see it even when everyone else doubted him and gave up on him.
Overall, the album is pretty decent. A part of me does feel that he could have went slightly harder and given us that mixtape Tory that we have grown to love. I was a bit disappointed because I know how hard Tory can really go and I just feel like he did not take it all the way there.
However, this album is still something to be very proud of. The production is nice, the skill and ability is evident and the story is relatable to many. The album definitely contains music for when you’re in the car, at the party, or simply alone, relaxing in your room. The story Tory tells us is raw, unfiltered, and unapologetic. It’s real and I feel that many (true) fans will appreciate this.
This is only the beginning for the young star as he has also just announced the “I Told You Tour” This tour contains 76 dates. It actually began on Jul 22, but it will push to December! Be on the lookout for when the tour is at a city near you! Tour and ticket information is available at itoldyoutour.com. I Told You is now available for purchase on iTunes, and for stream on Apple Music!