When he first began his rise to national prominence, one of the first big-name co-signs Bryson Tiller received was from the artist he’s also most consistently been compared to: Drake, the Toronto hitmaker who pioneered the new wave of R&B-soaked, downtempo hip-hop music that permeates Bryson’s own output. So, it’s only natural that the Louisville slugger takes a swing at one of Drake’s Scorpion slow jams and knocks it out of the park.
“Finesse,” the fifth song from the “R&B side” of Drake’s recent double feature album, is a smoky, sinuous reflection on his admiration for an unattainable female companion co-written by hit writer extraordinaire James Fauntleroy and awash in dark, moody instrumentals that evoke the sort of 2 AM introspection that’s become Drake’s hallmark. Tiller, who’s proven adept at much the same sort of soul-searching, middle-of-the-night crooning on albums like 2015’s Trapsoul and its 2017 follow-up True To Self, takes the track and makes it his own. The stripped-down, snare-focused beat becomes a little brighter and speedier, lending it a little more head-nodding groove than the plodding original, while Bryson makes use of his more agile vocals to slip easily in and out of his trademark falsetto.
Tiller’s been using covers of other R&B standouts like SZA’s “Normal Girl” and Tory Lanez’ “Leaning” along with the original track “Canceled” to build anticipation for his upcoming third album, Serenity, which doesn’t have a release date yet.