BY SEAN M. STEADMAN / ‘Old friends become strangers, new friends are dangerous’, are the boisterous words Torey Lanez chooses to introduce us to his second project, Memories Don’t Die.
Torey Lanez is back and he’s brought a new taste to the table. This time he comes with realistic perspectives on money and fame, controversial moments with other artists, the death of his mother, escalating success and more. Lanez had high hopes for singles ‘B.I.D.’, ‘Skrt Skrt’, ‘Shooters’ and ‘Real Thing’, and left his fans full of excitement for what his newest release would hold. Features include Future, 50 Cent, Mansa and Wiz Khalifa — very different, as his first project had no features at all. Yet these choices are majorly complementary to the project as a whole.
Unlike his first project, I Told You, Lanez focuses on a less biographical narrative and blends the persistent need to ‘flex’ with an evocative sense of his character, creating a loose flowing LP. By that I mean, between ‘Real Thing Ft. Future’, ‘Hate to Say’, and ‘B.I.D.’, you find yourself on a rollercoaster of intention.
The ups and downs on the industry and have have clearly been weighing on Lanez, and his expressive nature has allowed him to find a balance between enjoying what he’s going through and realising his mistakes and opportunities.
It’s songs like ‘Pieces Ft. 50 Cent’ that make you understand Lanez has witnessed many difficult scenarios in his life and these experiences moulded his environment. But the narrative, the sample inspired by Sting’s original guitar line for the song ‘Shape of My Heart’, creates a storytelling nostalgia that demands attention.
I won’t give it all away, but a moral story of rape, deceit and anger at the world comes full circle with the characters involved, leaving listeners to ponder the final line, ‘I know that I will die, but in heaven I’ll be alive’. The scene is set in New York, and having a 50 Cent feature really adds a genuine feel to the tone of the song, I also found the song ‘Happiness x Tell Me’ endearing. It’s the story of finding out that his mother has passed away and of his growth in and his acceptance of that moment, and finding the strength to become a rock for his family. The melodic synths and wavering vocals really display a range of emotion given the subject of his mother’s death. But a hopeful resolution is found and it foretells the moment of their reconnection, whenever that may be.
All in all, Memories Don’t Die has everything; new sounds, club hits and songs that will make you reflect on the proudest and saddest moments of your life, to remind you where you are now is a place to get better. Keep going, Torey, the city believes in you, your fans believe in you and we hope one day you get to tell her all about it. Find your happiness. – Sean M. Steadman