written by Aaliyah Weathers.
It’s often said that music is a gift, so how fitting that my best friend surprised me with Meet & Greet tickets to rising rap and R&B star of the summer Tory Lanez. I caught his set at a festival in Atlanta and I was completely captivated by his presence. At the time Lanez had only put out a few singles and had a relatively small following but still managed to deliver one of the most memorable performances of the festival letting by keeping the set personal and engaging.
Last month Lanez put out his debut project which got him a substantial amount of buzz in the R&B and Hip Hop community, even landing him at top 20 single in the billboard charts with “Luv”. While the album as a whole is ambitious and enjoyable, he continuously brags to all the people that told him he couldn’t make it about his money, girls and notoriety. I would not say it is detrimental to the project but it is definitely pretentious and I personally got tired of almost every song having the same theme.
Cut to last Sept. 16 at Revolution Live on Fort Lauderdale. After a short meet and greet (each fan quickly shooed away after a hug and photo) fans waited through 3 openers, only one of which, Jamaican singer Kranium, was interesting before Lanez finally stepped out. While I wasn’t totally in love with the album I was instantly pulled in again by the performer’s charisma bringing what I thought to be mediocre songs to life. Lanez expertly played to the crowd, knowing the more hype rap tracks like “Diego” would satisfy the guys in the audience and slower R&B songs like “Say It” would do the same for the ladies.
By far the most memorable part of the night had very little to do with the music. Lanez spent a huge chunk of the show being surfing the crowd of people through the venue. He even got people to hold him up high enough so he could climb to the venue’s second floor balcony where he performed several songs while swinging from the railing. His energy radiated through the crowd and for a while we became a community all chanting, singing and cheering on this wild man. Tory Lanez gave the audience his all, which is ultimately what I think will make him stand out from other emerging artists trying to blur the lines between rap and R&B.