Image courtesy Tory Lanez.

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself
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After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Back in June, rapper and R&B singer Tory Lanez was freshly released from his label and experiencing unprecedented success with the Quarantine Radio show he performed on Instagram Live, his career at an all time high. As quickly as he rose, he sunk exponentially, when what started as an unclear altercation evolved into an unthinkable assault.

For over a month, the July 12 incident was left to mere speculation. Megan Thee Stallion, the other party involved, finally took to Instagram Live on Aug. 21, to explain her side of the story.

“Tory shot me,” Stallion said.

In the weeks leading up to her statement, Stallion was receiving a mix of sympathy and accusations, despite releasing the X-rays showing proof of the bullet wounds.

Lanez remained silent on the matter until releasing the album “DAYSTAR,” Sept. 25, only two days after Breonna Taylor’s killers were let off without justice. On the project, he persistently denies any wrongdoing regarding the incident and outright accuses of lying.

Lanez’s unabashed decision to capitalize from the situation, only providing his side of the story through a product, and his incessant claims of innocence ultimately detract from his credibility and have led many of his supporters to abandon him.

Heavily feeding into the backlash of supposed friends, Lanez fires shots at several rappers, singers and most viciously, Los Angeles Lakers’ small forward J.R. Smith. While entertaining, the “Me Against the World” approach leaves a bad aftertaste. Given the opportunity, Lanez consistently takes the low road, rather than owning up to any of his mistakes or at least acknowledging the severity of the situation.

Concerning the quality of “DAYSTAR,” the beat selection, various flows and word play are just as good as any other Tory Lanez album. The sonic range he displays between the two genres he occupies would normally be enough to satisfy the average listener, however, his fixation on the incident and the two-dimensional account he provides make it both agitating and boring to listen to entirely in one session.

Lanez fails to deliver any form of apology or explanation on the album for whatever occurred on the night of July 12. Instead, he calls Stallion’s account into question and implies he’s the one due an apology, using good production to punctuate his empty argument.

When it comes down to it, the album sounds quite good, so long as you’re not actually listening to the lyrics. Even then, the sting of the initial reaction wears with each play for those willing or perhaps careless enough to silently condone the behavior. Lanez challenges his haters, however, providing what would normally be received as a hit with “Just Got It Done” as well as an otherwise undeniable classic with “Care For You.”

The question is, can a hit record or even a potential classic save Lanez from sinking out of the spotlight? Or is the wound simply too raw for him to survive a tasteless response like this?

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