There’s always been an ongoing conversation in the music world regarding sample usage, and where to draw the line between “too much” and “just enough”. It’s easy for some listeners to equate sampling to laziness, as it seems like (from the outside) the practice consists of merely just taking someone else’s finished product and reusing it. Folks on other side of the debate argue that having the sense to listen to a sample and imagine and re-envision it as something else with your own flavor on it is a skill not many people are able to master. I agree with the latter.
Being able to use a sample and interpret it to develop a whole new vibe and feel is an art within itself. Throwing a sample on a new song does not automatically make it hot, so actually doing it well requires an impressive level of creativity as well. It also requires massive amounts of patience because clearing samples is one of the most tedious tasks in the industry. Also, sampling songs means having the attached nostalgia come along with it, which can either hurt or help the artist, and I’d say Tory Lanez is becoming an expert on the craft.
On New Years day, Tory Lanez dropped Chixtape 4 as well as The New Toronto 2. If the abundance of samples on Tory’s new mixtape caught you off guard, you’ll be even more surprised to know he’s has been doing this for a while. There are three previous Chixtape mixtapes from the Toronto singer/rapper, all of which have the common theme of utilizing classic samples in almost every single track. A significant amount of listeners raise the question of whether or not this should undermine his ability to be seen as original. However, Tory Lanez shouldn’t really be worrying, because (judging by mixtape downloads, plays and reactions thus far) there seems to be an even larger amount of listeners who see his ability to twist a sample and lay his vocals over it as a fairly dope skill that sets him apart from others. He also has a good amount of original content out, and he dropped his debut album, I Told You, in 2016.
All in all, as long as Tory Lanez keeps the sampled songs to original tracks ratio at a reasonable level, the Chixtape series looks like a successful annual tradition for more years to come. The mixtape features production work from Play Picasso, Sergio R, C Sick and Tory Lanez himself. Fellow Nyce and Jacquees also grace this project with their solid features.
Here’s every song Tory Lanez sampled on Chixtape 4 in the order in which they appear on the project. Did he do them justice?
1. “Grind With Me” – Pretty Ricky (2005)
Listening to this song now, I can’t believe us 90’s babies were actually allowed to listen to this in middle school.
2. “I Need a Girl” (Part 2) – P. Diddy featuring Ginuwine, Loon, and Mario Winans (2002)
A P. Diddy song with Ginuwine on the hook meant there’s no way the song could be a miss. You would think this track dropped yesterday the way it still bumps over a decade later.
3. “One Call Away” – Chingy (2003)
You can count on Tory to pull up, because he’s only “1 Call” away like Chingy was.
4. “Just a Friend” – Mario (2002)
This remake of a Biz Markie classic had everyone shooting their shot to get out of the friend zone.
5. “What’s Luv?” – Fat Joe featuring Ashanti and Ja Rule (2001)
“What’s Luv” is such a classic, so I’m relieved Tory didn’t alter this hit too much. For the most part, he kept that signature bounce and added some of that 2017 quality bass.
6. “The Proud Family Theme Song” – Destiny’s Child and Solange (2001)
Tory Lanez’s “Proud Family” is an obvious favorite among listeners already and it automatically gained steam on social media. His use of this Disney Channel classic seemed so ingenius and shocked a lot of people. If you liked this rendition, check out that time Tory sampled the theme song from Nickelodeon’s show, All That, performed by TLC here.
tory lanez just dropped a new chixtape and he got a song called "proud family" if he sampled the proud family theme….. ima cry
— Demetrius Harmon (@meechonmars) January 2, 2017
7. “Ignition” (Remix) – R. Kelly (2002)
If you have a throwback R&B playlist, there’s a 99.99% chance this song is on it. It’s science.
8. “Slow Down” – Bobby V (2005)
“Slow Down” was literally slowed down and kept Chixtape 4’s sultry vibes going.
9. “Differences” – Ginuwine (2001)
It’s pretty clear Tory is a huge Ginuwine fan.
10. “I Don’t Wanna” – Aaliyah (2000)
Rest In Paradise to R&B’s angel. For the final track on the project, Tory simply named it “Aaliyah” and really kept her essence and graceful spirit alive throughout the song. Well played.