Last year was a mixed one for Toronto. After an emotional win over the Texas Rangers in the first round of the playoffs, the Blue Jays lost a tightly contested ALCS to the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals. The Raptors are currently in second place in the NBA's Eastern Conference, only two games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, but last spring they were bounced from the playoffs in a four-game first-round sweep by the Washington Wizards. And the NHL's Maple Leafs, far and away the most passionately followed team in the city, are tied for last place in the entire league, despite signing Mike Babcock to the largest coaching contract in the history of the sport.

Tory Lanez is trying to change all that. The rapper and singer dropped two mixtapes on Christmas; one was the quieter, more conceptual Chixtape 3, but the half designed for maximum impact was boldly called The New Toronto. And his post-Drake, heavily hybrid-ed sound absolutely represents the direction that the acts to break out of the city and garner international attention have taken. His latest single, though, invokes a town with an entirely different cache. "L.A. Confidential" is exactly the kind of slinking cut that Lanez would hope to leverage into mainstream success in 2016. The extent of that takeover remains to be seen, but if the paths forged by Aubrey and his one-time protege The Weeknd are any indication, the ceiling is higher than it's ever been before.

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