Toronto’s very own Tory Lanez turns 24 today and with the talented rapper’s latest album, I Told You, just three weeks away, we see big things happening for him in his 24th year. You may know Lanez as the “Say It” rapper or just “that guy that bodied Drake’s ‘Controlla’” but there’s a lot more to know about the #SWAVEY artist. Keep scrolling to learn 10 things you may not have known about Tory Lanez.
Just turned 24 today … Happy G day to myself
— Tory Lanez #SWAVEY (@torylanez) July 27, 2016
Six years to be exact. In 2010, Lanez posted a video to YouTube promising the rapper $10,000 if he listened to his mixtape, Playing for Keeps, and didn’t like it. Drake never accepted and Lanez got to keep his $10,000.
Though throughout their careers, both Lanez and Drake have taken their fair share of shots at each other but Lanez says that it’s nothing personal.
“It’s just one of those situations where, the only thing that’s ever gonna lie in between us is that we can’t share first place. And I’m the only guy that’s bold enough to come and really take that right now,” Lanez said during his interview with the radio station Hot 97.
“Hip-hop is a contact sport, I’m here to compete, I’m here to be number one.” He added, “I was a fan of his music before, no one’s ever took that from me. That doesn’t mean I’m not here to take my crown.”
In a now-deleted tweet, Lanez expressed his exasperation over the whole “6” movement.
The tweet caught a lot of backlash from Lanez and Drake fans who called the rapper out for using the term in his past tweets. While Lanez has never fully explained his reasoning behind it, fans of the rapper believe that he didn’t mean to offend anyone, it was just his way of saying that Toronto is more than just a Drake city.
In a past interview with Much, VJ Tyrone Edwards recalls meeting Tory Lanez back in his RapCity days. Lanez didn’t begin publicly rapping until he was 16, and back then, if you were a rapper in Toronto, RapCity was the place you wanted to be.
In an interview with Hypetrak, Lanez expressed that the most important thing about creating his music is, “making sure [his] experiences are real.”
Though he clarified that six months wasn’t a consistent time frame, he did call the amount of time a “really unique time to live.”
“I want people to understand that the experiences I sing and rap about are experiences of my own life and they’re real things that happen while my day happens,” He said. “I never wanna be the guy that talks about somebody with swag…I always want the music to always be real.”
Lanez was born with the name Daystar Peterson and got his inspiration for his stage name though his childhood antics.
When he was a kid, Lanez was known for always being outside. Whether he was running around, skateboarding or rollerskating, Lanez was always on the streets, hence the assigned childhood nickname, “Lanez.”
As he got older and realized that he wanted to make a career out of rapping, Lanez began to refer to himself as “Notorious,” after Notorious B.I.G. Unfortunately for him, the people in his neighbourhood started to call him “Tory” for short, and the name stuck.
“It became Tory Lanez. I pretty much put them together,” Lanez told HipHopDX.
As well as being a rapper-singer-designer-producer, Lanez is a songwriter too. With what he constantly describes as a mountain of songs under his belt, Lanez has written for prestigious musically inclined A-listers.
“You’d be surprised. A lot of everybody has some Tory Lanez work,” he said in an interview earlier this year for Power 106 Los Angeles.
Some of his most recent work has appeared on tracks from Chris Brown, Akon and August Alsina. Lanez also wrote the song “Lord Knows,” heard on Meek Mill’s album, Dreams Worth More Than Money.
In an earlier interview with Billboard this year, Lanez told the music publication that him and Justin Bieber are friends and fans of each other’s work.
“I’m a big Justin Bieber fan…I’ve been listening to his music. OG, you know. That’s also my friend too so, you know. It’s just one of those things,” Lanez said. “We’ve been supporting each other’s music for a long, long, long time. So I’ve just been hearing the growth of his and I just think it’s amazing, especially that he’s coming from Canada. It’s a thing like that.”
Lanez also credits Bieber as being one of the two most famous people in his phone (with the runner-up being Ed Sheeran).
Though he markets himself as an artist from Toronto, Lanez only spent part of his childhood in the city. He left Toronto at the age of five, moved to Montreal and then moved to Florida, where he stayed until he was 12. Before moving back to the city at 14, Lanez also spent some time in Atlanta and New York.
Lanez became homeless at around the age of 15, right after he had moved back to Toronto from Florida. After being kicked out of his grandmother’s house, he resorted to living with three of his brother’s friends. Later on, not enjoying the atmosphere of his new living conditions, a young Lanez decided he would rather fend for himself, by himself.
Hustling to make money where he could, he found himself sleeping on park benches for some time, until he came to the realization that he was destined for more.
“After a while it came to a point where I was just like, ‘This is not what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m not supposed to be sleeping on park benches,'” Lanez said to HipHopDX.
Before he was signed to his current record deal with Interscope, Lanez was signed to a singer that you all may remember from his “Beautiful Girls” days: Sean Kingston.
Kingston discovered Lanez back in 2010 after seeing a video of him freestyling over Lloyd Banks’ “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley.” Interested in Lanez’s singing abilities, Kingston called him in for a meeting and signed a record deal with Kingston’s label Time is Money Entertainment. Under the label, Lanez released mixtapes, Mr. Peterson, Chixtape and Swavey. After the release of Swavey, Lanez left Kingston’s label to be an independent artist.