Tory Lanez Takes Back the Mic on “The New Toronto 3”


Tory Lanez silences critics on his new release. (Courtesy of Facebook)

In one of his newest songs, “Adidas,” Canadian rapper Tory Lanez expresses how he sees himself in Tupac Shakur. Lanez croons about how he wants to be celebrated like Tupac upon his death through the song’s one continuous verse. When asked about comparing himself to the legend in a recent episode of Genius’ “For The Record” web series, Lanez takes a brief puff from a cigarette and visibly shakes his head. He explained he was never trying to compare their greatness or claim superiority. Instead, he aims to spark greatness through the world with his own individuality, just like Tupac did years ago. 

Lanez continues to give his fans a look into his psyche in his newest outing “The New Toronto 3,” which was released on April 10. His fifth studio release also happens to be his last with Interscope Records before he goes independent. “The New Toronto 3” returns to Lanez’s rap roots, offering a variety of intense bangers and intimate numbers. However, a clear mission remains evident throughout the album. Lanez wants to let his listeners know that he’s here to stay while giving them an inside look into the man behind the music. 

In previous albums, people have criticized the fact that Lanez seems to say a lot without saying much at all. He uses creative language, yet the lyrics don’t stick with a set purpose. However, that all changes during “The New Toronto 3.” He experienced a lot, such as having a son and struggling with his record label, since his 2017 album “The New Toronto 2.” He uses his growth and past scars to give his music a sense of emotional depth, and it truly shows. His love for his son, for instance, is quite literally put front and center: the album cover depicts the pair in a close embrace. 

Lanez sure does have a lot to say throughout “The New Toronto 3.” He expertly explores various themes spanning heartbreak, drug dealing, loss, wealth and his own personal changes. Lanez’s beliefs surrounding love and life emerge in the discography through his masterful choruses. For instance, he questions the validity of love compared to his wealth in “Who Needs Love.” He shows a preference for flexing his wealth to having his heart broken, yet this reveals his hidden sensitivity about opening his heart to others. The 13th track, entitled “Letter to the City 2,” sheds light on Lanez’s issues with his record label. He reveals Interscope Records often suppressed his creative ideas, and now he anticipates going independent. 

Nonetheless, the track “P.A.I.N.” especially stands out as it explores Lanez’s childhood on the streets of Toronto. Lanez looks back on how his younger self often feared for his life as he sold drugs to support his family. His classmates relentlessly ridiculed him for his stained t-shirts and ripped Adidas shoes. Lanez manages to balance both vulnerability and a “look at me now” vibe in “P.A.I.N” as an illustration of his growth. This song showcases a personal, raw side to the rapper by illuminating the scars from his past that shaped him into the man he is today.

The album also contains a collection of surefire bangers that still provide a glimpse into Lanez’s motivations and perspective. “Stupid Again” will get a crowd on their feet. It opens with a sample of boxer Conor McGregor apologizing to “absolutely nobody” before the bass drops. Lanez creates an absolute power anthem with this one, boasting his clout and shoving his haters into a lyrical grave. “Back In Business,” too, is a hit in the making. It’s a comeback anthem with Lanez rapping about those who doubted him and that he still overcame their convictions. While these anthems may sound cocky to some, a closer listen expresses Lanez’s own pride in his success. He worked for years to achieve his wealth and fame, and he deserves to celebrate it.

After spending 10 years in the music industry, Tory Lanez has found his groove with “The New Toronto 3.” His preceding albums remain classics in their own right, but “The New Toronto 3” offers something new. Lanez now gives his melodies a sense of concrete definition through his personal anecdotes and experiences. This shows his growth as both an artist and a person. 

“The New Toronto 3” proves that more people should be giving Tory Lanez the attention he deserves. He has something to say, and we all should listen.