Kyle and Drake
Key Song: Kyle "Keep It Real"
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Drake may want to consider chasing a restraining order. What's amazing about this one is that it doesn't just cop an aspect of Drake's music, like his flow or his beats; it takes a vampire bite and drains it physically and spiritually, from its individual components to its overarching essence. Starting with the plaintive piano and extending to the EQ frequency filtering to the slowed hook, "Keep It Real" is a sonic deadringer for Take Care. Kyle's stop-start punchline-oriented flow and the odd emphasis on n-bombs are Drake-ian in nature, but when his sung hook kicks in, it's like watching a cat discover his first mirror.
Then there's the entire presentation: Kyle emulates Drake's everyman struggle, focused on existential middle-class angst, rather than the trials and tribulations of hip-hop's underclass. And like Drake, he adapts that underclass terminology, as in the song's title. Things get the eeriest, though, when it comes to intangibles, like his one-word name and vague resemblence to Aubrey. But most amusing of all is that he even addresses the similarity to Drake in the song: "They say that I sound like Drake/I don't." We beg to differ. —David Drake