Review: Tory Lanez finds his perfect balance on Love Me Now

The Toronto singer/rapper cuts straight to his strengths – a concise collection of party anthems that demand heavy club play

Rating: NNNN

Tory Lanez was on his way to play Summerjam in Germany in June when his plane suddenly dropped 26,000 feet. Convinced he was plummeting to his death, Lanez found himself second-guessing his career.

The plan for his third studio album, Love Me Now, was born as soon as the plane landed safely. The 15-track album features a star-studded list of guests including Chris Brown, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Gunna, Bryson Tiller, Trippie Redd and Trey Songz. But instead of drowning under the weight of other musicians, the Toronto hip-hop artist finds a perfect balance between rapping and singing, holding his own on every song.

Unlike his first album, which featured a bloated 15 songs and 14 skits, Love Me Now is a concise compilation of party anthems that demand heavy club play. On Flexible, over a blissful, shimmering beat evocative of a Mario song from 2004, Lanez delivers an addictive and relatable hook about flexing after getting paid. 

The singer/rapper includes smart and catchy references to reward loyal hip-hop heads. “You know gangstas don’t die / they get chubby and they move to Miami,” he sings on Miami, referencing Jay-Z’s legendary 1998 track Reservoir Dogs. He whispers the lyrics to Wait (The Whisper Song) by the Ying Yang Twins on Ferris Wheel before launching us back to reality with an anti-twerking PSA to “Instagram girls,” painting a picture of the haters who plague social media. He furthers this social commentary by addressing social media’s dishonesty in KJm. 

There is more nuance throughout this album than on his previous projects, cutting straight to the bone of his own successes. Lanez may be one of the most versatile hip-hop artists working today, and he’s flying higher than ever on Love Me Now.

Top track: Flexible


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