INTERVIEW: Tory Lanez w/

rez | Interviews | Monday, June 3rd, 2013


Get to know TLanez in this feature by

It’s likely that, at this very moment, you do not know rapper/singer Tory Lanez. Minus a following he’s culled in his hometown of Toronto, and minus being briefly nudged into the spotlight in 2010 when Justin Bieber cribbed a few of his lines in a song, he’s mostly an unknown. But anonymity appears to be losing its grip on him.

Last month, the 20-year-old released his first proper single, the undeniable “Hate Me on the Low,” an effortlessly melodic track that managed to sound both watery and metallic all at once. Blogs swooned. Early this week, he released a second track, “Fourteens and 40?s,” which slows the best parts of Method and Mary’s classic “You’re All I Need” into a near-wobbling-but-completely-controlled crawl. The praise multiplied itself.

The story behind it — at least the immediate story behind it — is simple enough:

At 14, young Tory was pushed away from the care of his grandmother and father (“I just saw life a little differently than they did,” he cryptically responds when asked why he was put out). He moved into an apartment in Toronto with his older brother and three of his older brother’s friends that had also found their ways out of the reach of their parents. And they did what kids without guidance tend to do (hoodrat shit, basically). Thus, the song.

But it feels heavier than it should be. Lanez’s otherwise buoyant voice drags its feet through the gravel, his brags more aggressive and confrontational than he flexed on “Hate Me on the Low.” It hints at the devastating the back story that set his rap career in motion.



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