Exclusive: Tory Lanez Talks ‘Chixtape 5,’ Ashanti Cover Art, & King of R&B

In one week, Tory Lanez is set to release the long-awaited Chixtape 5, the fifth installment in his popular series that pays homage to R&B classics from the ’90s and ’00s.

He recently sat down with Rap-Up at an L.A. studio where he was putting the finishing touches on the nostalgic project before its Nov. 15 release date.

“The Chixtape series is something that has a cult following. The Chixtape series is bigger than Tory Lanez,” said the 27-year-old singer-rapper. “I know that this means a lot to [my fans], bringing it back, because they thought that it was gonna end at 4. It’s a way more important experience this time.”

The first Chixtape was released in 2011 and quickly became a fan favorite, paving the way for three more in 2014, 2015, and the latest, Chixtape 4, in 2017. For the first time, Chixtape 5 will be an official studio album.

“I always wanted to make them albums that I could sell, but clearing it was always an issue or was something we felt was going to be too overwhelming and too hard to do,” he explained. “Everything around it, it’s something that’s legendary to people.”

Tory flipped some of his favorite R&B songs from 2000-2006 for the 18-track set, including the lead single, a remix to T-Pain’s “I’m Sprung” called “Jerry Sprunger.”

“I just tried to find my favorite songs and songs that people were gonna be like, ‘You’re not gonna get that cleared,’ or like, ‘That’s just too big,’ or ‘That’s just too much of a classic for you.’ That’s what I aimed for this time around.”

He enlisted Ashanti for the throwback cover art, which finds the R&B songstress laying in bed. “Just the way it looks, the aesthetic of it, she hasn’t aged at all, she looks the same,” said Tory. “You even see with the cover, it’s like she ain’t missed a second. It’s just incredible to have captured that same exact feel.”

Plus, he weighed in on the ongoing King of R&B debate and revealed why he thinks R. Kelly deserves the crown. “Despite the things that he’s done, I think music and craft-wise, I would give it to R. Kelly,” he said. “He’s just been doing it for so long and he did so many different genres and did them phenomenally on the music side. I don’t agree with the things he did on the other side, but musically you gotta give it to guys like that.”

Plus, find out who made Tory’s list of top 5 R&B artists of all time.