Tory Lanez is one of the most interesting artists in the game right now, largely due to his jack-of-all-trades approach to the industry. His long running Fargo Fridays series has consistently delighted fans, and his continued dedication to releasing fire-ass remixes to some of the year’s hottest songs has kept him in our recently played tabs for quite some time. After the release of his debut album I Told You last year, he proved that he has the ability to craft a strong, major label project that houses mainstream appeal, tells a story and doesn’t compromise the sound we have come to cherish. Not to mention the way that he blends his rugged street flow with the highs of his impressive falsetto. It’s safe to say that dude really puts on for Toronto.
In all reality, Tory Lanez’ extensive mixtape discography is somewhat underrated. Though many of us fell in love with Tory around the Chixtape, New Toronto phase, Lanez has been painstakingly putting out music, and has since accumulated an extensive and dope collection of fifteen mixtapes. Peep this ranked list of every Tory Lanez project ever and see if you find a new swave to ride.
Playing For Keeps
Playing For Keeps
This mixtape represents an interesting milestone in Tory Lanez career for a number of reasons, but the most important one, of course, is somehow intertwined with Drake, his former adversary turned ally. However, the story goes that the rivalry between the two Torontonians started back in 2010, between the the release of Tory Lanez’ sophomore mixtape Playing For Keeps and Drake’s seminal debut Thank Me Later.
Apparently, Tory offered a wager to Drake that involved $10,000 and a listen to his mixtape. Tory was so confident of his music he essentially insisted that he would give up 10 G’s if Drake listened his mixtape and was not impressed by it. But Drake did not oblige and subsequently, Tory set his sights on taking down the proverbial Antagonist of his story.
Long story short, this was the beginning of an extensive rivalry, and though it appears that any trace of this mixtape has been wiped clean from the internet, we do have access to the video of Tory Lanez $10,000 listening challenge to Drake.
This 2012 Freestyle tape is actually really really dope for what it is. Fargo goes in over nine of the hottest tracks from the year including Tyga’s “Rack City” and A$AP Rocky’s “Purple Swag” with his “Purple Swave” rendition. It’s a hype lil vibe and Tory bodies each of these records back to back. It’s definitely worth the add to your library.
You can stream and download that jawn here.
T.L 2 T.O
T.L 2 T.O
Tory Lanez debut mixtape T.L 2 T.O features a youthful up and coming Toronto MC filling every bar with ambitious similes and metaphors, in addition to numerous odes to his city and the women within it. Tracks like “T Dot Girls” perfectly synthesize the energy of the tape, the ultimate window into his skill and ability. “Closer” boasts a more rap inclined Tory, which carries over to the entire tape. Ultimately, there aren’t any brilliant melodic moments or thrilling displays of falsetto on this project, but there Tory’s potential shines through nevertheless.
As Tory Lanez was still trying to find his voice with this tape, his bars lacked the triumphant bravado and refined, dominant vocals of his later work. Still, there were no shortage of bangers; Tory killed damn near every beat front to back, impressively handling most of the verses and hooks.
Tracks from the tape like “Fly To The Beach” “Summer Love” and “Feel Alive” stand out due to their impeccable composition. Don’t get us wrong, we have nothing against this tape, but it’s missing that classic Tory confidence found in other releases.
Swavey was a bit misunderstood. The title and the verbiage within embodied the style and swag Tory Lanez was bringing into the game, and while it was undeniably refreshing, it fell short of explicitly illustrating the desired vibe. It’s simply not as cohesive of a project as it could have been, but there are still bangers. “I Go” is an absolute bomb and “STYLL” is the perfect follow-up. Tracks like “Wooden Beads” “10 Times” and “Where My Problems Go” offer an interesting variety while also maintaining a smooth stride.
One Verse Hearse
One Verse Hearse
There is a discernible tonal difference in 2010’s One Verse Hearse. Tory’s rapid growth and progression are evident as he crafts intricate bars and showcases his cocky flows on every track. The opening “I’m So Appalled” freestyle set the tone for the entire project. There are also several joints that give fleeting glimpses of the signature Lanez’ style, like “Throw Back (Freestyle)” “Ambitionz Az A Ridah (Freestyle)” and “Say Something (Freestyle).”
Mr. 1 Verse Killah
Mr. 1 Verse Killah
Tory, perhaps intentionally, previously opened both One Verse Hearse and Mr. 1 Verse Killah with Kanye West records, and he continues the trend with a murderous “Dark Fantasy” intro on this tape. And though most of the ten tracks bang, the two biggest standouts have to be “Miss Me” and “All I Want Is You.” Honorable mentions include “Super High” and “Light Up.” Think it’s just a coincidence Tory Lanez went so hard over the Drake beats?
This tape was short, sweet and straight to the point. Tory Lanez kicks expert flows over some of the biggest records from from 2010 and 2011, further proving that he has the chops to be a superstar.
Mr. Peterson may very well be the coolest substitute teacher ever. As Tory Lanez makes it clear on the intro track, he’s here to take these cats to school, and that he did. On this mixtape, we get more of the complex storytelling Tory infused in his later releases, along with a healthy dose of that falsetto.
This is one of the first times Tory Lanez puts the bravado aside in favor of revealing his personal side and ideologies. Insofar as track consistency, you can basically take your pick, as Mr. Peterson is impressive from top to bottom.
As long-winded as this mixtape can seem, there is never a moment where the music leaves the listener feeling stagnant. Though Tory Lanez had been doing his thing for a few years prior to this project, Sincerely Tory is (appropriately) his most sincere and genuine effort. What’s even more impressive than the explosive emotion is the fact that the project is almost entirely self-produced.
There are so many memorable moments on this tape that it’s hard to narrow it down to four or five tracks. Songs like “Warchild” and “Blame My Ex” capture the listener in a multitude of feelings that it’s hard to decide whether to turn-up or lock yourself in a dark room to be alone with your solace and memories.
Conflicts Of My Soul
Conflicts Of My Soul
On this project we get a chance to see Tory’s demons through the vivid imagery depicted through the music. One of the highlights is the premier and polished flow Tory spits over myriad different tracks, delicately marrying high pitched crooning with cunning and razor-sharp flows in a way that only Fargo can.
Tracks like “Ms. Backseat Love The Gut Feeling” perfectly showcases the balance between R&B vocals and real rap verses. “D.O.E. The Lights” and “Hate Me On The Low” reach for two very different feelings, but nail the explanation of Tory’s existence at this point in his career. And finally, tracks like “Return Of the G” “Icey Dicey” and “Gang !@#$%” restore balance to the project and help to end the project on a high note.
Each of the Chixtapes packed an immense amount of mind bending storytelling and unbelievable production, but one of the reasons these tapes attract so much appeal is because of the suspenseful atmosphere the skits aligned with the music.
Chixtape 3 is the perfect example of production, drama and superb music that this series brings. Tory interweaves emotions of lust, greed, and infidelity throughout all twelve tracks in a way that is both satisfying and entertaining. “N.A.M.E” is the best venue for a soulful Alicia Keys sample and sultry flow, followed by the plot thickening “Jalissa’s Friends PT 2” skit. The “Niggas Talk” skit proceeds to set the stage for the paranoia and jealousy portrayed in “S M N.” And to be quite honest, the remainder of the project is astoundingly special, including tracks like “You Got It Worse…” “Walked Out” and the Ed Sheeran assisted epic “Save It.”
The Chixtape series is possibly Tory Lanez’ most accomplished and celebrated collection. When Tory Lanez introduced the series back in 2011, it proceeded to usher in a new wave for his career. Little did we know that he would take us on a twisted, romantic, passionate and cinematic tale of unhealthy relationships and promiscuity.
Chixtape 1 is somewhat tame compared to later installments to the series, but it has no shortage of emotional or panty-dropper records like “Accordian” and “When You’re Comfortable.” Tracks like “Drive You Home” and “Junior High” stand the blueprints for the next generations of the Chixtape series.
Chixtape 2 is a milestone in both Tory Lanez’ career and the Chixtape catalog. By this point, the Chixtape series had truly began to evolve, and we get the first real taste of Tory’s creative flips of memorable samples, as well as his fully developed, lyrically motivated form blend of R&B and rap.
Throughout the fourteen tracks, every single one brings a special touch, but there are a handful that elevate the tape to extreme heights. “R.I.D.E” is the perfect juxtaposition to “Jalissa’s Intro,” while “Summin” “All That” and “Crew” help the project flow smoothly into a graceful exit.
Despite being a mere five songs in its entirety, Tory Lanez’ 2015 mixtape Cruel Intentions is one hell of a project. Each track has a complex network of emotional cues and sonic textures, establishing individual identities while respecting the main theme of ambiguous inhibitions. “Acting Like” is the perfect moody introduction and “In For It” is the sinister supplementary track, rounding out the seductive tone of the project moving forward. All in all, this is a consistent and substantial entry to Tory Lanez discography.
Chixtape 4 is literally a walk down memory lane. Every sample tugs at the hearts strings in one way or another, and we’re pretty sure that no one has flipped Biz Markie’s classic “Just A Friend” the way producers Sergio R and Play Picasso did. Many of us longed to go back to our childhood when we heard the theme song from the popular Disney cartoon Proud Family on Tory’s grown up version of the track, and many of us immediately made it nasty as soon as you heard the Pretty Ricky sample on “Slow Grind.” And what a finale “Aaliyah” is!
New Toronto 2
New Toronto 2
The New Toronto 2 is the musical personification of a troublemaker, and Tory Lanez made it clear that he was one of rap’s newest elite members. It’s as if every track on The New Toronto 2 has a chip on its shoulder. “Talk To Me Nice” is as ferocious as it is long, then “Dopeman Go” and “Bodmon Song” send this tape spiraling out of control with a fiery intensity. Then there are songs like “Lick X Drive You Crazy” and “Wraith Talk,” that lyrically demolish any and every expectation we ever had concerning Tory’s Bars. Throw in a few flashy bangers like “Dancin'” and “Anyway,” and this project turns out to be an all out flex.
Part of the reason The New Toronto mixtape is so fire is because bruh delivered it on Christmas alongside Chixtape 3, so listening to the tape is like receiving gift after gift after gift. On top of that, a hazy word of mouth beef between Drake and Tory Lanez was circulating rather heavy, but Tory pretty much put the rumors to sleep with this project. All eleven tracks on this project are fire, which explains why it sits comfortably in the number two spot.
Lost Cause is as much a standalone project as it is a compilation. When this tape dropped in 2014, Tory Lanez had prime positioning to catapult his career to the next level and this project did exactly that. Elements of storytelling and personal solace shine in moments like “Grandma’s Crib” “Mama Told Me” and “Dry Your I’s.”
There are also the staunch declarations of masculinity and dominance on records like “Priceless” and “Godfather.” And finally, the slick talking, Casanova we know Tory Lanez to be makes dazzling appearances on tracks like “Selfish // York University,” “I-95,” and “Henny In Hand.” What really takes this tape over the top is the balanced attack; there are a multitude of layers throughout this project, all crafted and neatly organized.