An imposing return from the Toronto star...

A lot has happened since Tory Lanez released ‘The New Toronto 2’ back at the start of 2017- from mending his relationship with fellow Toronto native Drake, to having a hair transplant, as well as a son (who graces the cover of the latest instalment) - but while keeping us all entertained with his Instagram Live segment Quarantine Radio, he’s not forgotten about the music, gracing us with ‘The New Toronto 3’.

The project serves as his final one with Interscope Records and sees a return to the grittier, rap-focused Tory that’s been absent of late thanks to the success of his previous R&B, number two Billboard 200-charting ‘Chixtape 5’ album. But while that album was littered with features, seeing artists put fresh spins on their classic material, this project is completely stripped down in comparison with the sole features being from Lil Tjay and Mansa respectively.

Through previously released tracks such as 'Who Needs Love' and 'Do The Most', Tory adds to his countless selection of radio hits, something he seemingly does in his sleep having been a ghost-writer for other artists in the industry. But it’s on tracks like 'Dope Boys Diary' and 'Letter To The City 2' where the project really shines.

Arguably the biggest criticism levelled at Argentina Fargo is that he says a lot without really saying anything, but on this record he opens up a lot, speaking on label drama, how his motivations have changed over his career, his relationships with women and his intentions for the future as an independent artist. On 'P.A.I.N' he describes how he used to fear for his life selling drugs on the corner, all while kids laughed at him for having stains on his clothes and holes in his trainers.

It’s these moments of introspection that not only show us the man behind the music - Daystar Peterson - but also a side to him that hasn’t been explored in any real depth since his second album ‘Memories Don’t Die’.

Before the release of the album Tory wrote on Instagram:

“This has been a huge journey for me and my fans and I apologize that mid way thru this , I had to dumb down my creativity , and not give y’all the 100% of quality in my music that y’all deserved to hear for so long .... The Chixtape 5 was the closest thing I’ve been able to give u that had somewhat of the quality of music that’s in store for y’all , at least up until now #NEWTORONTO3 ...is a small taste of what’s to come” before saying “I got u and I will never let you down again from this point”.

If this project is anything to go by then after ten years in the game, Tory Lanez’ journey is only just getting started as he delivers an immersive experience that sees him do what he does best both sonically and lyrically - having overcome trials and tribulations both publicly and personally - to start a new chapter of his career in the best form of his life.

7/10

Words: Aaron Bishop

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