The New Toronto 3

The New Toronto 3

Tory Lanez is remarkably fluent in a handful of musical languages. Over the past five years, the Toronto native’s albums have displayed a chameleonic prowess for the sounds of the moment, nimbly melding hip-hop and R&B with styles like Afrofusion and glossy pop. Then there’s his mixtapes, which tend to be more free-form, honing in on his various sonic identities and magnifying them. His Chixtape series began in 2011 as a display of the singer-rapper’s loverman side and of his affinity for bygone eras of R&B. He began pairing them with The New Toronto on Christmas Day 2015. The latter series, in contrast, is home to some of Lanez’s most turned-up music—the beats hit harder (largely courtesy of longtime collaborator Play Picasso), the flows are more breakneck, the lyrics more aggressive. “There were fans who wanted to hear R&B, and there were fans that wanted to hear only rap, so I would try to do both sides and give them a taste,” Lanez tells Apple Music. The New Toronto 3 is an especially stark release, propelled by the tumultuous emotions of a relationship gone wrong and the hunger of an underdog. “I definitely was going through a breakup,” he says. “The girl had left me, and I felt like she was playing with my emotions. I also felt like I was going through a lot of issues with friends, family, and just certain people that didn't seem genuine. A lot of things were just turning me coldhearted, and I used that as the fuel to put in the project.” It’s a callback to the energy that initially made those releases some of his most compelling. Still, he says the best is yet to come as he embarks on a new chapter of his career as an independent artist, with The New Toronto 3 marking the end of his contractual obligation. “I just wanted to make sure I gave [the fans] what they wanted and what they could expect, because I'm about to go back to a lot of the classic sounds that I had and I'm about to start putting out real music again,” he says. “I've just been with a label, and I never wanted to give them any of my best music, so I've been holding my best music back for like five years.” Pricey & Spicy “I wanted to give people more of an understanding of what they were getting into as the project is opening. I wanted to make sure that all New Toronto fans had the original knock, the original operas, the original sound, which was ‘Pricey.’ That beat was made in the times of the original New Torontos and then we brought it back and started freaking it. That's why it was super special to me, because I was like, this record right here was one of those records that was definitely supposed to be a part of this.” The Coldest Playboy “The girl I was talking to had just finished saying something to me along the lines of ‘I'm going to just start fucking other n*ggas.’ I remember she tried to argue with me that morning, and I was like, ‘You know what? I'm not having this with you no more. I'm at a different part of my life, and fuck you.’ I was in straight fuck-you mode—not just to her, but just my whole situation. The first line is so honest and so vulnerable, but so real, and I just felt like as an opener, if that's the first thing you hear, you just know you're about to get into some shit.” Stupid Again “We had just got to California, and I rented out a house just to work in for three months. I had rented a good car, good house, going pretty good, a bunch of groceries in the fridge. I was feeling good, and I just said, ‘N*ggas just going stupid right now.’ I made the song in the house—I'm in a big-ass massive bedroom, and I'm just recording this shit. It was certain things I was actually going through. We were way in the hills; there wasn't really no service. At that point, I was like, ‘Let's just make it fun, because I'm going to be in the club and I'm going to want to wild out to this.’” 10 F*CKS “Mansa is a kid I signed. He was actually on two projects before this, and he’s definitely one of the most talented people—if not the most talented—I've signed. Mansa was originally supposed to be pretty much the only feature in the project. When we did the record, I had did the first verse—I was still going through it with the girl, that's why some of the verses are like, 'I still love you, but it's still fuck you.' Then, Mansa came in, and he just started skating, and I was like, 'All right, it’s lit.'” Dope Boy's Diary “‘Dope Boy’s Diary’ is a lot like ‘Adidas.’ It's like one of those verses where I'm just spitting it all out. It was really what I was going through when I was selling, when I was homeless, and in positions before the deal and all that stuff. That's why I call it ‘Dope Boy’s Diary,’ because it sounds like something a dope boy would've been writing in his journal if a dope boy ever had a journal. Certain things that people that really were there, they’re going to know what I'm talking about.” Accidents Happen “‘Accidents Happen’ was a throwaway song at the start—it was just a song I made. Then, when I was going through records that I had, I played it, and the people in the room were like, ‘This is crazy.’ I remember I had asked [Lil] Tjay to hop on it back at the time, so I had a verse from him already on it. From that point, I just knew he was super special with it.” Broke in a Minute “It was actually supposed to be a freestyle on one of [NLE Choppa’s] beats. When Papi Yerr came in with that beat for ‘Broke in a Minute’—Papi Yerr is the dude who did ‘[Jerry] Sprunger’ and the [version of] ‘Take You Down’ that I did with Chris [Brown]—I was like, ‘I might as well just put it on this,’ and it just ended up sounding hard.’” P.A.I.N “I was on my way to the airport, and n*ggas was trying to rush me out the crib to get to the airport. I remember I was at my house recording it all myself, I don't know why. As they're rushing me, I'm just spitting the verse. The verses came out so hard. I don't even know if that had anything to do with it, but I felt like I had to get it out quick, and it came out so heartfelt. I remember I would play that song for anybody, and everybody that heard it was like, ‘It’s just so much pain.’” Adidas “I just went back to the times of how was I feeling when I was going through certain things and n*ggas was alone and homeless and still had a dream. There's so many people that go through that moment when you make some money from something, and you want to be an artist. You're like, ‘Should I really spend this 10,000 on this feature or should I put this back into what I'm doing that's wrong?’ You don't even got to be selling dope. Some people want to do music, but they also got a side hustle. Sometimes, the cards are not always in your favor, but you’re trying to make it happen.” Who Needs Love “The funny thing about ‘Who Needs Love’ is I've only had two real girlfriends in my life. I'm not a real fall-in-love guy. I can love you as a person, I can be there as a partner—somebody to help you get through certain things in life—and we can have lots of memorable moments, but I'm not a real lovey-dovey guy like that. When I'm saying I got these diamonds on my neck, it's not necessarily meaning just the materialism of it. I feel like the girl that I was with didn't understand I came into this as Tory Lanez. The girl wanted me to act as some regular guy. I'm a very down-to-earth person, but at the same time, I came into this relationship with money. If you can't accept me for the guy that I am, then who needs love?” Do the Most “My exes come with a lot of confusion and shit.” Penthouse Red “I'm telling you all of this stuff about this girl, the good stuff, but I'm also telling her we've been in a hot pursuit, you've been doing you, so it's time that I do me. This is when I'm getting off the relationship now. The whole section of those last three songs, it's heartbreak Tory. I think that women have this way of making themselves seem so innocent and then when you finally find out that she can also be not as innocent as the person that you thought, it's like a shocker to a lot of guys with egos. Me, I’ve been through it all—I don't put nothing past nobody at this point.” Letter to the City 2 “There's a lot of hidden things in there that I couldn't say—certain names I couldn't say due to contracts and things like that. But I just gave you an understanding of how we wrapping it up being that this is my last album with the label. I'm an independent artist. I'm a free man. When I was writing that song, that's why I said, 'As soon as you hear this verse, I'm out the record deal.' What's crazy about that line is I actually took that line from Drake purposefully because I remember it was one of the hardest things I ever heard him say. I don't really care how anybody takes it. I'm not going to lie, even though I took out certain names because I didn't want it to be a legal issue, but at the end of the day, when I go through life, I'm allowed with every creative right to talk about what happens in my life and what has happened in my life. I just had to get off my chest what I had to get off of my chest.” Back in Business “‘Back in Business’ is actually old. That's from the same time we made ‘Pricey.’ I think I made [them] in the same session, actually. The beat, the verse, and the song for ‘Pricey’ was done at that same time.” D.N.D. “I actually made ‘D.N.D.’ live on Instagram with my Instagram followers. They came up with the name—we made a tally on the names, we picked the beat out together. I be doing this shit where I go in the studio and I just make records on Live. We made that record together, honestly. Somebody told me to call it ‘Do Not Disturb’ and I liked it.” MSG 4 GOD'S CHILDREN “I'm a child in God's army, God's son. And more importantly, I'm an instrument for God. At the end of the day, there's times when I need to use my talents for the kingdom of God and just for light—to make sure that I'm always helping people stay woke if I can, because my whole point of doing music was always to bring positive light to my generation and to bring godlike energy to my generation and to help bring souls back to the kingdom of God. That's really what my main goal is. At the same time, I always told myself and told my parents—or my dad [who was a missionary preacher] at least, because my mom died when I was 11—I feel like God called me to be in dark areas and to camouflage with them until I'm able to show them this is the light. As long as I can pinpoint those moments where I can use my platform and I can put that light in there that could be the deciding and changing factors of somebody's life, then that's what I try to do. I don't think that I do it enough, and I think that now I'm at a place where now that I'm getting out of the deal, I know that I can make any type of music that I want. I want to, at least with some of my music, start adding more conscious stuff that has to do with my relationship with God.”

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