Tory Lanez is walking through the streets of Hollywood, a blunt in one hand and a heart-shaped balloon bobbing from a ribbon in the other. An entourage of cameramen, managers and bodyguards trails behind him, weaving in and out of traffic like a shoal of fish. While NME’s photographer snaps away, a burly guy leans out of the window of a parked truck and hollers: “Dope ass music, my G!”
“Thank you so much, my guy!” nods the 27-year-old rapper, singer and producer, a modest smile creeping across his face. This is not the first time Lanez has been informed he makes dope ass music – it’s not even the first time it’s happened in the few minutes he’s been walking down this street – but even after hundreds of millions of streams and YouTube views (239 million for his 2015 hit ‘Say It’, another 174 million for 2016’s ‘LUV’, to name but two) these moments of personal connection still clearly mean a lot to him.