After bursting on to the scene in 2015/2016 with hit singles "Say It" & "Luv" (respectively) in addition to his anchoring Meek Mill's widely successful "Litty" record, Toronto artist Tory Lanez has established himself as one of the premiere hit makers in Rap/R&B today. His wide vocal range and versatility as an MC make Tory a tough act to match up with, and this album reflects that. One go around will have you feeling as if you just listened to an array of various artists. Although I believe his staple to be making music to melt the nightlife, those 1-5am songs you listen to while getting a private dance at an upscale strip club, or at an intimate afterparty, or something to smoke out to when those "you up" texts prove to be unsuccessful. And while a majority of his content speaks to women/his relations with women, he has a lot more to say with this "Memories Don't Die", lyrically speaking this album boasts a much more humble & introspective artist than his debut effort. Lanez himself being in a much different place in his life, with that comes a certain level of growth & maturity that of which is on full display on this album.
Since we last heard from Tory Lanez he's also squashed his beef with fellow Toronto artist Drake, which eventually led to the OvO boss bringing Lanez out at OvO Fest to perform his remix to Controlla, with Drake stating "we had problems with each other and we had never even met each other, I met the man and he's a great guy" Lanez references this on Hate To Say stating "Lord forgive him lord forgive him, I was trippin, all the time I spent subliminal dissin just tryna rip shit, not realizing if I took the time to kick it me & Drake mending bridges would prolly equal to winning." Lanez also touches on his brief bout with R&B singer Eric Bellinger. Which reportedly started with Lanez use of Bellingers catchphrase "This gon be your favorite song" which was used by Tory on "Baby" as well as the remix to DJ Drama's highly successful "Wishing". Lanez addresses Bellinger saying "this your favorite song this gon be your favorite song, except when I say it it's really the people's favorite song", Bellinger has since responded on his remix to Hate To Say, but consider this R&Beef all but dead. Much has been said about Tory Lanez habit of stealing other artists ad libs, styles, flows drawing comparisons to Lil Wayne, Cassidy, Drake to name a few, he speaks to these accusations on "Tell Me". One thing that cannot be denied tho are his abilities as an artist. Tory continues to display an uncanny knack for creating modern sounding music with a late 90s/early 2000s retro feel to it. He's proven time and time again that he's an avid student of the rap/r&b game, whether it's him sampling music from the golden age of R&B or paying homage to classic bars using a wide array of different flows. "Pieces" is a perfect example of this, with Tory providing us with an intricate story of two cousins forever connected by heartache & trajedy. Lanez digs deep into the archive with a sample of Nas's 1996 "The Message" as well as providing a vintage 16 from 50 Cent. The album doesn't stay somber for long as it immediately pivots to arguably it's most uplifting track "Connection" featuring Fabolous, Davo & Paloma Ford, good vibes for good weather and good times capped with a Bad Boy enthralled 16 from Loso. Another key for Tory Lanez is his tendency to let songs ride out, often even putting two songs as one, and in this case truly added to the collective of the entire album. In the end Lanez sophomore effort has enough versatility, heavy hitters & high points to be in the rotation for a bit. Lanez effectively does a bit of everything on this album, delivering trap ballads, radio hits, anthems for the club/strip club and even introspective storytelling, making this Tory Lanez most polished album yet. We give it a solid 3.5 out of 5 X's.