Album review: Chixtape V by Tory Lanez

Kyle Atkinson and Roberto Elguera

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It’s finally the time all Tory Lanez fans have been waiting for; Chixtape V is here! After the 2017 release of Chixtape IV, we’ve had an array of projects including Memories Don’t Die, Fargo Friday (Season 2), and Love Me Now?. These projects have allowed Tory to display to a wider audience his versatility in his rapping and singing. These projects were great and contained tracks like the club anthem “Broke Leg” with Quavo and Tyga, the R&B free-for-all “S.w.I.n.G” featuring PnB Rock and Trey Songz, and the very personal “Happiness X Tell Me”. Even after those projects, fans still wondered when Chixtape V was going to release. This long break since the last Chixtape and Tory switching the dates on social media didn’t help either, but with the official date being released with the tracklist, Fargo fans can finally eat.

On this one, Lanez has teamed up alongside the likes of 2000’s superstars Lloyd, Lil Wayne, Ashanti, and many more.  Lanez really wanted to focus on the R&B vibes of that generation and show respect to some classic songs. This is also the first Chixtape that is available on all streaming services. In this piece, you will get analysis from two of our Hip Hop Drip DJs Kyle Atkinson and Roberto Elguera. Read on for their analysis and takes on Tory Lanez’ new project!  

Kyle’s take:

As I mentioned in my Chixtape V preview piece, this was one of my most anticipated projects of the year. But looking back now, I realize that I might have set my expectations a bit too high this time around. I was over the moon when I first heard “Jerry Sprunger”, but got a bit disappointed with the whole project.  

This isn’t my way of saying that I think the project is bad because it isn’t. However, I think it was a bad move for Tory to release the project’s best song first. “Jerry Sprunger” is far-and-away the best track on this album due to use of the sample and the overall vibe. After hearing that track, I expected each song to be of the same or even better quality. 

The main thing that is leaving a bad taste in my mouth is how subtle some of the samples are. I understand that it may be out of his control, but it does bring the overall score down for me. Being that we’ve only had the project for a week at the time of writing, maybe it’ll grow on me. I just feel like some of the songs were a wasted opportunity and more could have been done with them. For example “Beauty in the Benz” could have been handled so much better, especially by including some of Pharell’s original hook. The sample just doesn’t sound great the way that it turned out, lowering the song’s quality in my opinion. 

Kyle’s final thoughts  

 While a lot of the songs are good, I don’t think many are as memorable as that T-Pain collab. Tory set the bar pretty high with the first track released but was rarely able to reach it throughout the full body of work. Certain tracks will still be in my rotation, but I’ve learned not to set the bar too high for a Tory Lanez album. 

  • Kyle’s score: 6.5/10

Roberto’s take:

If you’re going into this album, be prepared for a rush of nostalgia. From the very beginning with Jermaine Dupri’s classic line, “Y’all know what this is!” on “The Trade”. There’s also the reunion of Lloyd and Lil Wayne on “Thoughts”. I’m reminded of a simpler time filled with T-Mobile Sidekicks and BET music videos. It just goes to show that Tory Lanez can still bring back classic songs and make them sound brand new. “Jerry Sprunger” is a testament to that. To be able to bring back T-Pain and remix “I’m Sprung” is just iconic. Both artists share great chemistry as Lanez glides on the beat in his trademark high tenor as T-Pain belts out his classic auto-tune vocals proving again that he is the godfather of auto-tune.  

Standout track “Thoughts”, gives a dancehall and R&B spin to the popular “You” by Lloyd and Lil Wayne. Like, come on. Lloyd and Lil Wayne back on “You”? Need I say more? Lloyd sounds as amazing as ever as Lanez continues to flow effortlessly. When you thought it couldn’t get any better, Lil Wayne appears from the curtains. Wayne comes in with a blunt delivery that is heartfelt at the same time with lines like, “When I cut off all my b*tches it was only you I couldn’t leave behind” and the classic lines “you know I love you like good food, you know you’re f*ckin’ with a good dude”. 

Other honorable mentions have to go “Luv Ya Gyal//Love Sounds” featuring The-Dream that samples “I Luv Your Girl” and “Falsetto”. The “Can’t Help But Wait” sampled “Still Waiting” featuring Trey Songz is another standout.

Roberto’s final thoughts 

The pace of the album is remarkable. The album is paced where you aren’t listening to one sound the whole time. The tracklist fluidly transitions to moments that are sensual, happy, and sad. This healthy mix of different moods creates a lot of replay value for listeners.

Although it is clear that I’m ecstatic about this album and a little biased due to the nostalgia factor, an aspect that lacks has to be the wordplay. Though I’m a fan of when Tory can deliver catchy and smooth flows, it can get too repetitive once you’re half-way down the tracklist. I look at Chixtape III as the perfect balance between lyrics that are personal and rhythmic. Just check out “Save It” with Ed Sheeran. You read that right. Ed Sheeran is on it. Just listen to it; you’ll get it.

Another letdown at times are the features. Some features are too short and bare-boned, like Slim on “Room 112” and Snoop Dogg on “Beauty In The Benz”. It only left me wondering if the song would’ve been better if Tory Lanez did it solo. Even though there aren’t many clever bars that entice me to rewind a verse, this could be an intentional move due to the style of popular R&B and hip hop in the early 2000s. 

In all, I’m glad that it was possible for this project to come out and I hope it encourages fans to take a look back at Tory’s earlier work. 

  • Roberto’s score: 8/10

K-UTE Radio/University of Utah does not own any images in this piece.