Some would say a picture is worth a thousand words. For Tory Lanez to share a photo with fellow Toronto rapper Drake in New York on Thursday, the picture more than likely results in plenty of fan love, “unity” descriptions for Canada and more. It also puts to rest what has been one of the worst kept feuds in all of Canada, if not hip-hop. Drake and Tory Lanez weren’t fond of one another and hadn’t been for the better part of six years and change. Today, it appears both of them are on “less beef, more peace and getting money.”
As a refresher, Tory Lanez feels that even if Drake is the world’s biggest artist, he’s still the world’s biggest artist from his own backyard. Rappers create rivals in their heads all the time, whether imaginary or not. Lanez has spent the better part of his career not outright mimicking the moves of the “6 God” but making blatant attempts to grab his attention. Dating as far back as 2010, Lanez was posting YouTube videos claiming to be Drake’s little brother in order to garner attention and views.
Tory’s baiting of Drake only continued from there, offering Aubrey Graham $10,000 to listen to his mixtape, Play For Keeps and to keep the money if he wasn’t impressed with the quality of it. It is still unclear whether or not Drake even accepted the offer but in true Drizzy fashion, he kept his rival who looked more like a “stan” close by.
In interviews with The Fader, Lanez continued asserting his position in the Toronto rap scene and beyond. “I was actually the second artist that got signed [to a U deal] after Drake — before the Weeknd, before PARTYNEXTDOOR, before all these guys,” he said in 2015. “And I think what made it so emblematic for the city was that I was the only guy, next to Drake, who was talented at the level of being able to spit a hot sixteen, sing amazingly, and write songs. I was the only person from the city coming head-to-head.”
In the lead-up to Views, Drake and Tory took subliminal swipes at one another. On “Summer Sixteen,” Drake rapped a very obvious bar with a visage of Lanez posturing in the crosshairs. “All you boys in the New Toronto want to be me a little,” he rapped, a clear dig at Tory’s The New Toronto mixtape. Drizzy being passive aggressive in his barbs are nothing new, well unless you’re Meek Mill.
Lanez responded back but later attempted to play it cool. Not long after, he went into full album mode by releasing “Luv” and “Say It”, not before dismissing “The 6” as a nickname. It prompted long-time Drake producer Boi-1da to get in with a Pokemon Ditto jab at Lanez, arguing he was making copycat Drake records.
The “homages” didn’t stop. If Drake previously made a reference to Houston and Warehouse Live, Lanez did too. if Drizzy mentioned his family with a particular song structure, like on “Look What You’ve Done” from Take Care, Lanez had his own version ready and waiting with “Loners Blvd” from I Told You So. Even that could be perceived as a Drake style flex as the “Hotline Bling” rapper started his major label career with 2010’s Thank Me Later.
But for now at least, the cold war between the two has seemingly ended. Knowing Drake and his penchant for keeping people, even his “enemies” close by. It’s unclear whether or not the two will finally collab for real for once but this is no longer a “lil bro” situation. Tory and Drake appear cool, until they won’t be cool again.