A trip down memory lane

On March 2, Tory Lanez released his 18-track sophomore album Memories Don’t Die. Lanez currently has 15 mixtapes, though he’s more widely known for his hit singles “Say It” and “Luv.”

Memories Don’t Die incorporates both rap beats and typically electronic pop sounds. Songs like “4 Me,” “Hypnotized,” “Hillside,” “Skrt Skrt” and “Old Friends x New Foes” all have a hypnotic, beachy, soft sound to them, reminiscent of The Weeknd. On the other hand, songs like “Shooters,” “Pieces” and “Hate to Say” feature a more raw, rap-based sound.

The eighth track off the album, “Hate to Say,” features a gun cocking in the first few seconds of the song. The entire song stays on the rhythm of one beat, and the whole rap keeps a single flow. The duration has hints of influence by J. Cole and Drake, which makes the singular beat even more impressive.

Although Lanez does a good job of depicting stories and imagery with his music, some of his songs are more repetitive and focus solely on dancing and making money. Both “B.I.D.” and “Dance for Me” feature great beat drops but rather common club lyrics.

“Benevolent” and “Happiness x Tell Me” both combine catchy, low flows with intense storytelling. “Benevolent” starts with the sound of channels changing, then proceeds to cut to the sound of him getting out of a car, yelling at people and firing his gun. The lyrics of this track paint the picture of his past life and how he got to where he is now. “Happiness x Tell Me” is dedicated to his mom, who passed away when he was younger. About halfway through, the music slows and cuts to him telling the story of how he found out about his mother’s death. The song explains that whenever he thinks about his mom, it makes him feel truly happy.

In this album, Lanez had six songs with features, three of which were “48 Floors,” “Connection,” and “Real Thing.” “48 Floors” features Mansa, and sounds like a few of his previous songs. It has a good beat, but Mansa’s voice was too high for me, and didn’t really fit with the dynamic of the song. “Connection” has three features: Davo, Fabolous and Paloma Ford. Overall, the song was calming, but I think Fabolous should have had a longer part, as her voice fit well with Lanez’s. Popular rapper Future features in “Real Thing,” which sounds like the most unique song in the album. There are pretty, clinging chimes at the beginning, followed by a contrast of Future’s deep, harsh voice.

“B.B.W.W. x Fake Show” and “DON’T DIE” are both fairly bass-heavy and hard-hitting. In “B.B.W.W. x Fake Show,” Lanez thanks God for getting him out alive of a car crash he was in earlier this year. The second half of the song describes a girl he once knew that would do anything and everything for money and fame. “DON’T DIE” concludes the album by incorporating themes from the other 17 songs, while at the same time explaining how he got the fame he now has. 

Although Lanez gained most of his popularity from his mixtapes, Memories Don’t Die has already taken off and will continue to do so due to its effortless mix of harsh rap and soothing pop sounds.