Daystar Peterson (born July 27, 1992), better known by his stage name Tory Lanez, is a Canadian rapper, singer, composer, and record producer. He received initial recognition from the mixtape, Conflicts of My Soul: The 416 Story released in August 2013. In 2015, Tory Lanez signed to Benny Blanco's Mad Love Records through Interscope Records. Lanez released his debut studio album, I Told You, on August 19, 2016, which included the singles, "Say It" and "Luv", which peaked at number 23, and 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively. His second album, Memories Don't Die was released on March 2, 2018. On October 26, 2018, Lanez released his third studio album, Love Me Now?.
Daystar Peterson was born on July 27, 1992 in Canada to a Bajan father, Sonstar, and Curaçao and Guyanese mother, Luella. The family was based in Montreal, before moving to Miami, Florida. Daystar was known to practice and refine his rapping skills throughout his childhood, before tragically finding out that his mother had died due to a rare disease. Following his mother's death, his father began working as an ordained minister and missionary, causing them both to move frequently throughout the United States. Daystar's father later remarried and the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where Daystar met his friend Hakeem, who at the time was a janitor. Daystar's nickname "Lanez" was given to him by Hakeem, as a comment on Daystar's thrill seeking tendencies, that sometimes saw him mucking around in the street, not looking for traffic and playing in the lanes.
In 2006, he was sent to live with his cousin Dahir Abib, Orane Forrest, in Jamaica, Queens, New York, because of his behavior issues. Daystar then was forced to return to Toronto with his grandmother. Since she refused to take care of him, he was on his own at the age of 15. "I ended up moving downtown with these three dudes that I didn't really know. I came into the house and I didn't realize how things worked. From like fifteen to eighteen, I was just fighting them. It was every man for himself. That's what made me a man, having to fend for myself and being in a situation where there is no dad, no grandma and no mom to help you. It changed the person that I am today", he says. He then once again started rapping, before giving himself a nickname, Notorious (which is a reference to the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., whom he idolized), and adopted into his new moniker "Tory Lanez". At the age of 16, Daystar dropped out of the tenth grade, and he would begin performing songs at the outdoor concerts. At the age of 17, Daystar began singing, which he found an interest in. However, he had never received any vocal training. Daystar also goes by the name Argentina Fargo. In an interview, he said "When I put foreign and banking together, it's like foreign money. I’m a Canadian dude, walking around America. When you look at me, it's like looking at foreign money. So I call myself Argentina Fargo—like foreign money." Among his musical inspirations growing up Lanez cites Brandy and Ray J.
2009–15: Career beginnings
In 2009, Tory Lanez released his debut mixtape, T.L 2 T.O. While Lanez lived in South Florida, he began directing some of his music videos, and posted them on his YouTube channel. Sean Kingston was interested in Lanez after seeing a video of him freestyling over Lloyd Banks' "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley". In February 2010, Kingston contacted Lanez, telling him to meet up with him, during Justin Bieber's tour and later got him to perform on there live. In 2010, Lanez released the mixtapes, Just Landed, One Verse One Hearse, Playing for Keeps and Mr. 1 Verse Killah. In 2011, Lanez signed a record deal with Kingston's Time is Money Entertainment and released the mixtapes, Mr. Peterson, Chixtape, and Swavey. He later left the label to be an independent artist. In 2012, Tory Lanez released the mixtape, Sincerely Tory, Conflicts of My Soul: The 416 Story in 2013, and Chixtape II in 2014. In April 2014, Tory released two episodes of the "Public Swave Announcement", of behind the scenes of the "These Things Happen Tour" with G-Eazy and Rockie Fresh. On June 2, 2014, Lanez released the song, "Teyana", as a tribute to singer Teyana Taylor. Taylor responded with the track, "Dreams of Fuckin' an R&B Bitch". On June 6, 2014, Lanez released, "The Godfather", a song to announce that he was going to start a series called, Fargo Fridays, only releasing songs, albums, or videos on Fridays on HotNewHipHop. The songs, "I'll Be There", "Talk On Road", and "Balenciagas" were released later that month.
After releasing a bunch of songs from the series, he released a song called, "The Mission" to celebrate his tour announcement on August 14, 2014. Lanez kicked off his first headlining tour, the "Lost Cause Tour", in conjunction with the mixtape, Lost Cause. The mixtape was supposed to be released on September 29, 2014, but got pushed back to October 1. In an interview, Tory Lanez claimed he has ghost-written songs for artists such as Akon ("Been Gettin' Money" with Jeezy), Casey Veggies ("Actin' Up"), August Alsina ("My Niggas" with Meek Mill), as well as T.I. and Travis Scott. On February 27, 2015, Tory Lanez revealed that he was going to release a collaboration EP with the WeDidIt Records producers on April 6. On April 3, 2015, Tory released the single titled "In For It" for his upcoming EP. On May 8, 2015, Lanez released another song, titled "Ric Flair" featuring Rory Trustory. On May 22, 2015, he released the second single for the EP, titled "Acting Like". On June 19, 2015, Tory announced that the EP would be called, Cruel Intentions and released on June 26, 2015. That same day the single, "Karrueche" was released.
2015–present: I Told You, Memories Don't Die, Love Me Now, Chixtape 5 and The New Toronto 3
On July 15, 2015, Tory Lanez released the first single off his debut album, titled "Say It". It was also revealed that he signed to Benny Blanco's Mad Love Records and Interscope Records. On September 18, 2015, Lanez released the single, "BLOW". December 25, 2015, Lanez released the two mixtapes, Chixtape III and The New Toronto. On January 18, 2016, "LA Confidential" was released as the second single for the album. On January 28, 2016, Tory Lanez made a guest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! By performing "Say It". A month later, Lanez released a remix of MadeinTYO's "Uber Everywhere". On March 4, 2016, Lanez released the song, "Tim Duncan" as a part of his Fargo Fridays series. He released the song, "Real Addresses" the next week.
On April 1, 2016, ASAP Ferg and Tory Lanez announced "The Level Up Tour". On April 5, 2016, it was revealed that Tory Lanez would perform at Summer Jam and Pemberton Music Festival in the summer of 2016. On April 8, 2016, Tory Lanez and ASAP Ferg collaborated on the song, "Line Up the Flex" to promote their "Level Up" tour. On April 18, Tory Lanez refused to be on the 2016 XXL Freshmen cover because he felt he was in a higher league musically than the other artists being considered. On May 6, 2016, Lanez released two songs, "For Real" and "Unforgetful" as a part of the Fargo Friday series. On July 29, 2016, Lanez released the official second single "Luv" on iTunes. He also revealed that his album title would be I Told You. I Told You was released on August 19, 2016. On July 5, Lanez released two remixes for Drake's "Controlla" and DJ Khaled's "I Got the Keys". On July 20, Lanez announced the I Told You tour to promote the album. On March 2, 2018, Lanez released his second studio album, Memories Don't Die. Within the same year, he has also released an album titled Love Me Now? on October 26, 2018, He also released an album titled Chixtape 5 on November 15, 2019, and has an upcoming album titled The New Toronto 3, with a release date announced for April 10, 2020.
On March 20, 2020, Lanez teamed up with Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton for a remix of "Trust".
In an interview on Nice Kicks with Ian Stonebook, Lanez described his own personal style he calls, Swavey: "Swavey is a two-adjective word. A lot of people use it as an attribute, but the real definition of swavey is a genre of music. The genre of music is the genre of fusing more than one together. I know it sounds strange, but if you ask an artist what they do they're going to say that they rap, they sing, they do rock, a lot of people are multi-talented. They get looked at confused, but I don't think that they're confused. I feel that they're just talented, swavey artists. Labels want to put you in one lane, but I feel like there are so many people are more than that and they're swavey artists."
In 2010, Lanez posted a video on YouTube, challenging fellow Canadian rapper Drake, to whom he was rumored to be related. The video features him denying these rumors and announcing the $10,000 challenge. While showing Drake respect, Lanez again challenged him, but only if Drake would listen to some of his tracks from his second mixtape Playing for Keeps. Lanez also claimed that if Drake did not like it, he would personally give to him $10,000. In August 2015, while appearing on the "Sway in the Morning" radio show on Shade 45, Lanez had taken a shot at Drake, alluding to the infamous freestyle he had performed on Hot 97 six years prior where he had read lyrics from his BlackBerry. In October 2015, Lanez created additional tension with the rapper when he expressed his dislike of the use of "the 6", a nickname for Toronto, and one that had, of course, been popularized by Drake.
In the lyrics of his 2016 single "Summer Sixteen", Drake appears to make a subliminal diss at Lanez, rapping: "All you boys in the new Toronto want to be me a little." Many took this, and the ensuing lines, to be something off a shot taken towards Tory Lanez. Drake also took aim at Meek Mill who, in the midst of their ongoing feud, called out Drake for dissing Lanez on the song, "War Pain": "Tory from the 6, you hatin’ on him, Lord knows!" In an interview with Revolt, Tory was asked about the perceived shot. He was skeptical about whether it was aimed at him at all, he assured the press that he wouldn't be responding even if it was. "Drake could diss me 20,000 times, and I’d never diss him. I’m a fan... I have no negativity on my side. All blessings to that man." When Tory released his version of, "Uber Everywhere", he raps, "Pussy boy, smack that smile clean off your face / You don't know no trap niggas, you don't be around this way / You some actor nigga boy, I used to see you on the screen". Many people thought Tory was taking shots at Drake. Tory disses Drake again in the song, "Line Up the Flex" with ASAP Ferg. Lanez rapped "I was never gang, gang, gang, gang/ I was One Umbrella Mob", in a response to Drake's shot at him on "Summer Sixteen".
Drake fired back in the song, "Still Here" on the album, Views. In an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Drake spoke on Tory: "I encourage anybody to go out there and do the most damage that you possibly can. Do you things. Get all the fruits. Get everything. Become the biggest artist you can possibly be. Just don't get up there finally and start talking down on me, especially when we have no interaction." Tory took shots at Drake again in the song, "For Real". On June 27, 2016, Lanez talked to Ebro on the Ebro in the Morning show and he stated about Drake and said "Hip-hop is a contact sport, I'm here to compete, I'm here to be #1." He goes on to say, "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 February 2016, Jacquees tweeted, "Chris [Brown] my idol/big bro he don't count never will but you other guys im at yo throat #FuckHowYouFeel". The tweet meant that Jacquees is in a fierce competition with every R&B artist in the game, except for Chris Brown, who he says is his idol. The tweet wasn't convincing to Lanez, who responded to Jacquees with two choice emojis. Jacquees took Lanez' emoji response as an assault, and he went on to call Lanez a "peasant" and "watermelon head ass". Jacquees did, however, take the time to compliment Lanez' penmanship, though he implied that Lanez' vocal talents are not up to par with his own. Lanez still hasn't responded to Jacquees, but tells his fans to "advise that boy" The two later squashed their beef at South by Southwest. They later announced in August 2016 that they were going on tour together.
In November 2018, during an Instagram Live session, Lanez claimed that he's a better rapper than American rapper Joyner Lucas. In response, Lucas challenged Lanez to a rap battle, which led to several diss records being released between the two, including the "Lucky You Freestyle" and the "Zeze Freestyle". Although the beef was short lived, Lanez expressed distaste at those who sided with Lucas. The end of the beef was once more evident when the two released a remix of DaBaby's song Suge.
Shortly after his beef with Joyner Lucas ensued, New York rapper Don Q dropped a battle track titled "I'm Not Joyner", alleging that Lanez was stealing Q's lyrics. Lanez fired back with a track called "Dom Queen", before Q responded with another diss track. Another rapper, Dreamville artist JID was involved into the beef, seemingly displeased with previous statements Lanez made aimed at his mentor, J. Cole. Lanez then challenged the entire Dreamville artist roster in response, with rappers including Dreamdoll responding with their own tracks aimed at Lanez.
In response to Tory Lanez's various rap beefs, Karlton Jahmal of Hip-hop publication HotNewHipHop said "the art of the competitive, lyrical battle rap has been missing from the mainstream wave for years...", until Lanez brought the culture exactly what it's been missing with his friendly yet competitive take. Jahmal concluded that Lanez was essentially "engineering an overall shift back to the roots of hip-hop [...] more about proving lyrical talent than they are about utterly destroying an opponent".
On March 26, 2016, during a concert in Midland, Texas, violent scuffles between security forces and concertgoers occurred. Lanez then proceeded to tell the crowd to "fuck shit up," which incited a full-on riot and forced police to shut down the show. Multiple people were arrested. The venue and concert promoters are considering legal actions against Lanez.
- I Told You (2016)
- Memories Don't Die (2018)
- Love Me Now? (2018)
- Chixtape 5 (2019)
- The New Toronto 3 (2020)
Awards and nominations
|2015||Much Music Video Awards||Best Hip Hop Video||"Henny in Hand"||Nominated|
|2016||BET Awards||Best New Artist||Himself|
|BET Hip Hop Awards||Best New Hip Hop Artist|
|MOBO Awards||Best International Act|
|Soul Train Music Awards||Best New Artist|
|2017||Grammy Awards||Best R&B Song||"Luv"|
|Juno Awards||Fan Choice Award||Himself|
|Breakthrough Artist of the Year|
|Rap Recording of the Year||"Shooters"||Won|
|2019||NAACP Image Awards||Best New Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Juno Awards||Fan Choice Award||Nominated|
|Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Rap Recording||Love Me Now?||Won|
|2019||BET Hip Hop Awards||Best International Flow||Himself||Nominated|
|Juno Awards||Fan Choice Award||Pending|
|Artist of the Year||Pending|
|2020||Juno Awards||Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year||Chixtape 5||Pending|
|Juno Awards||Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year||Feel It Too||Pending|