Tory Lanez Missed An Opportunity To Show Growth with ‘Daystar’ Album, Rollout
With Daystar album release, rapper Tory Lanez shoots himself in the foot.
On Friday the 25th of September, in the blessed year of our Lord 2020, Tory Lanez chose to release his Daystar album: an ode to the feelings he’s been harboring for several months since the infamous shooting incident, and his subsequent fallout with Megan Thee Stallion. This happened less than a day after we learned the criminal justice system gives more fucks about property damage than the life of an unarmed Black woman. This may not seem relevant, but it will be shortly.
Now y’all know I like to look at things from several angles because I know humans are going to human at the end of the day. After some discussion and listening to a solid case made for “hearing Tory out”, I chose to do exactly that: give Tory the benefit of the doubt he required as an artist, and listen to the album.
First, let me say that this album is probably one of the more raw-er pieces I’ve heard from him (granted I haven’t listened to too much of him, so there is some bias to factor in). On the Daystar album, Tory captured the full range of emotions he was feeling, from hurt, to anger, sadness, and even a little bit of cockiness associated with pre-mature celebration. Sonically, the album was well mixed; with vocal selection, instrumentation and associated effects used to enhance the story Tory was pitching us.
Here was a broken-hearted young man, in a rare seat of power, surrounded by people he thought he could trust, but suddenly he’s out in the cold because of a simple misunderstanding. And worst of all, no one took the time to ask him what his side of the story was. They just automatically assumed he was some kind of monster.
This narrative is not an unfamiliar one. On film it’s as old as D.W. Griffiths love letter to white supremacy “Birth of a Nation”: the monstrous nigger. The monstrous nigger with such a low love for his own kind that he would dare shoot the love of his life after receiving his master’s back. Can’t we all see the kinds of lies and tricks being played on him? He’s the victim here really, but it’s alright because we can’t cancel him. Him and his army of millions of fans will overcome this grave injustice because who Jah bless no man can curse. Right?
Except the narrative isn’t cut and dry. The one consistent thread in both stories is that there are inconsistencies in both of them.
Allow me to offer a more likely explanation as someone who once danced on their side of youth (I’m 31).
Behold I present to you two relatively insecure individuals in Megan The Stallion and Tory Lanez, who have made it into an industry that feeds off said insecurity. They created beautiful personas for the world to fall in love with, and are now trying to wrestle with what it means to don that persona while navigating the process of becoming an adult—which honestly is hard enough without cameras on you 24/7.
I’ll posit it’s likely the two found comfort in each other (as Lanez sings in one of the opening songs—citing their shared bond over each being without their mothers) and became vulnerable with one another. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that given the passion inherent in their discography, they were no stranger to heated arguments. We’ve all been there; communication is learned, not taught, right? And chances are these fights had built up small resentments and blocks in communication. The night of the party, you mix these misunderstandings with a whole lot of alcohol, (and probably drugs) you get a fuzzy remembrance of what took place (Lanez himself has even said he got a little too drunk that night) and two lovebirds forced to navigate what should have been a private moment, in front of the world.
I get it. Shit happens in relationships all the time. I mean shit, Hov cheated on Bey and got cold-clocked in the elevator by his sister-in-law.
But the disheartening thing surrounding this narrative is Tory’s lack of growth through the situation. And one can’t blame him for not growing because… THIS SHIT JUST HAPPENED.
This was not an album of taking his story and turning it into something beautiful as art is designed to be (like a Lemonade, 4:44, or Everything is Love); this was an underhanded attempt at finger-pointing while repeatedly suggesting “Oh I can’t tell y’all the full story cause I got an open case.”
Well then wait ’til the case is closed, fam; don’t talk about this now.
Let the wounds settle, get them cleaned out. Go to therapy, as you so boldly suggested in one of the tracks bruh. I get you are hurt and that the public attack is eating away at your veneer; you have every right to your anger. But Tory, you ain’t done with the healing cycle. Now is not the time to speak on what’s happening. You gotta realize you are not the same dude who used to sell nicks on the corner; the world is much bigger than that for you. Especially now that you have your masters.
This is why black women are upset with this album. It’s not because Tory might be telling the truth. It’s because a day after a woman’s wall got more justice than the Black woman who lived there; you decided to issue a big fuck-how-you-feeling-let’s-talk-about-me to your millions of fans. You ain’t sit with whatever lessons you were supposed to come away with; you just decided that you were hurting and you needed to let the public know exactly how bad you were feeling.
Like I said in my first article about this matter, Meg was in a situation where she thought people had her back and shit went left. Based on Tory’s side of the story, he was in the exact same predicament; young cat with a lot of money, around people he thought he could trust, who got a little too loose that night. Shit went left, and now both of ‘em are dealing with the backlash.
But had Tory waited just a bit longer, this album could have been a moment of true triumph for him. A moment for fans and open minded people alike to rally behind him. Instead, his impatience and desire to look good in the eye of the people just cancelled that opportunity for him.
He may or may not have shot Megan, but he damn sure just shot himself in the foot.
Listen to the Tory Lanez Daystar album below:
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