Not every song on Tory Lanez's debut album follows his come-up story, but these five are integral to the plot.
In terms of chronological, autobiographical narratives, albums don't get more focused than Tory Lanez's I Told You. The Toronto singer/rapper's commercial debut recounts pivotal events in his rise from a 16-year-old kicked out of his grandmother's home in 2008, to an Interscope-signed star, through both skits and song lyrics. The skits form the definite backbone of this narrative, laying every time period, setting, and mood out for the audience with great attention to detail (some have even joked that the album is an "80-minute skit" interrupted by songs), and as you can guess on a lengthy, major-label album, some tracks fail to carry their weight in the storyline. Singles "Say It" and "Luv" in particular, tacked on the end and seeming almost like afterthoughts, contain few details on the ups and downs of Lanez's life.
At times, though, songs on I Told You are audiobook-level achievements in storytelling, powerful snapshots that you know Lanez has been saving for the right moment. Whether he's recounting his initial grind, lowest moment, or big break, Lanez is detailed and impassioned in his construction of these songs-as-origin-stories. For this list, we're not judging songs on their quality, only for their importance to his overall narrative-- the more detailed, the better. He does manage to weave the more relationship-themed R&B song into the storyline quite skillfully, but these five are used as more than just means of convincing some doubter that he can make good music.