Vory Is Hip-Hop’s Secret Weapon

When Vory turned 18, he knew he was going to be a musician. Though it was hardly some coming-of-age moment of clarity — no, it was when he got a face tattoo. “I knew it was over right then,” the enigmatic singer-rapper — who frequently dons a mask—says with a laugh. “Like, yo, you have no other choices. No Plan B. It’s either this or nothing.” If music was a last resort, he’s certainly made the most of it: Vory has become an in-demand songwriter for everyone from Drake to Beyonce, Jay-Z and Future. And now he’s signed to Meek Mill’s Dream Chasers Records, managed by the Weeknd’s manager, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby and ready to step out on his own as an artist. “It feels amazing, bro,” the 24-year-old Louisville native says of finally releasing Lost Souls, his meticulously crafted and moody debut album. “I’m all about making a powerful impact.”

The 17-track album features the likes of 070 Shake and Nav but the highlight is, of course, “Daylight,” a collaboration with one of Vory’s closest musical confidantes: Kanye West. “We understand each other musically a lot,” Vory says. The pair worked together closely on Ye’s 2021 Donda LP, with Vory contributing his sweet and airy vocals to three tracks (“God Breathed, “Jonah, “No Child Left Behind”) and another on Donda 2, the stunning “Lord Lift Me Up.” (“It needs a real release. I was just telling Ye that. It can be something crazy.”) To hear Vory tell it, the relationship is mutually beneficial: “Ye can understand where I can fix certain things. I can understand where he should take other things.” So close was their partnership, in fact, that they had to scale back Vory’s contributions to Donda. Originally, he says, he was featured on five tracks, “But when we was finalizing the Donda tracklist, Ye was like, ‘Wait, man. This is crazy. We got a mini-EP on my album already!’ So we picked the strongest three.”

“Daylight” was one of the songs that didn’t make the cut for Donda. But Lost Souls is all the better for its inclusion. The menacing song sets the dark sonic template for an album that finds Vory unpacking his innermost feelings on everything from betrayal (“Not My Friends”) to buying back a woman’s affection with designer purchases (“Chanel Fix).

Vory.