How do you move on from leaving a major label like Interscope…? You create your own label surrounding your brand, call upon your industry connections for collaboration and strategically craft your rollout… Just like Toronto’s very own “Tory Lanez.” From albums with heavy themes and experimental production to a much more “presidential” and “polished” sound with 1000% unapologetic lyrics, Tory is in his final form. His trap music has gone from a little Squirtle into a buff Blastoise (Ooo Drippy). The evidence is right in front of us – Let’s break down his industry connections booming this year, all on his own. From SKAT to Grah Tah Tah to We Outside, we be divin.’
Summer 2021 is already hot enough to cook eggs on for the “One Umbrella” CEO Tory Lanez. Dababy and Tory teamed up for “SKAT,” triumphant trumpets fill the beat and lyrics about smoking on potent, flaunting luxury with women and ridin’ fiery whips echo from the rappers. This single had a brilliantly made video to match – a pig, ice cream cones, Western shoot outs, Nascar and “Thriller” (yes, the MJ song about zombies) scenes visualize many of the bars. This collab from June 14th would pave the way for Tory’s EP to take over the summer.
On Instagram, about two weeks ago, photos began emerging of Kodak Black (Tory’s second industry connection) and Tory in yellow lab coats. They were shown mixing different chemicals to tease their single “Grah Tah Tah.” The lab coats were just one of many expertly done scenes in the video. Tory has a knack for grabbing visuals that capture the attention of all viewers. There is ridiculous imagery; a woman playing a cat and he has a line about “swalalalaling him” as another woman is fed grapes with Tory’s face photoshopped on each individual fruit. The video also features an iconic remake of Kanye West’s 2007 Takashi Murakami Jesus piece pendant made to include Tory’s umbrella logo. Kodak is spotted giving grinning lessons and doing some sort of ghetto story time with grade school aged children sitting cross-legged; Tory’s son has multiple cameos in the video too. A chalkboard reads “Cancelled” on the top half and “Can Sell A lot of Records” on the bottom. A blatant statement about overcoming the need for major label backing to make his hits… The video and song graced platforms July 26th.
The very next day, July 27th, or in other words – Tory Lanez’ very own Bday – we were granted the “We Outside” five-track EP. It came as a surprise to many of his supporters, but there was a decent trail of breadcrumbs. Just last weekend, or the weekend of Rolling Loud Festival in Miami, would be the first sign of new music from Tory. Dababy had a set at Rolling Loud that went as long as a set could. Somewhere from 10 to 20 thousand dollars was paid to make it extend past curfew. During this time Dababy would have a guest on stage with him… none other than Tory himself to perform SKAT. This was aimed to get a buzz surrounding his name, after all that tune is a Dababy feature on a Tory track, #interesting. Then, for two weeks leading up to We Outside dropping, Tory has Kodak share clips of the Grah Tah Tah track that would serve as the single of the EP. Throughout the last week alone Tory created a professional buzz that would turn into numerical success. Within 24 hours, the Grah Tah Tah video on YouTube earned approximately 2.5 million views with no major label attached to it.
We Outside has a “Bday” track and it definitely bangs. There has been some controversy in the last year surrounding this man’s (Tory Lanez) name. There are always two sides to every story, just as there is two sides to them old skool records… Whether you like the man or not, the individual hustle and networking skills need to be admired here. It is a modern-day example in the industry of teaming up with your friends – the ones that believe in you most.