Maybe only Adele’s ‘Hello’ will end up being more covered than Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ by the end of 2015. The track was originally released in July, but went supernova when the Canadian debuted the video in October. As well as spawning gifs and memes, a flurry of covers seem to be emerging on an almost daily basis. Here’s the 10 best covers of ‘Hotline Bling’ so far – ranked from worst to best.
10. Mike Tyson
After Jimmy Fallon showed Tyson an Internet meme that imagined the former boxing champion and his infamous lisp singing Drake’s track (you uthed to call me on the thell phone), he insisted on doing an impromptu cover. Tyson took inspiration from Drake by showcasing some questionable dance moves and incorrect lyrics.
9. Justin Bieber
Not content with being out of the spotlight for longer than a day, Bieber released a two minute remix of ‘Hotline Bling’ only available via calling a certain phone number. The song was swiftly uploaded to the web, but Bieber’s cover is, well, a bit forgettable.
8. Erykah Badu
Uploaded over a month ago to Soundcloud, the Soul legend stamped her unique vocals on her cover of Drake’s song. Badu kept the original music but introduced computerised vocals and changed the several lines in the song (You used to call me on my cellular device at night). In the end Badu added an excessive extra three minutes to her version – a bit much.
7. Keyshia Cole
The American soul singer offers a new perspective of ‘Hotline Bling’, smartly twisting the lyrics into a female point of view. Cole also appears to take a subtle shot at the Canadian rapper in the song; “running out of pages in your blackbook, chilling with these girls I’ve never seen before”. Bet Drake didn’t see that coming.
6. William Singe
The YouTube singing sensation has already gathered millions of views for his cover of Fetty Wap’s ‘679’, and seems sure to replicate that success with a cover of Drizzy’s hit. Singe’s cover strips away the ping-pong percussion and instead adds subtle guitars and falsetto vocals to create a laid-back rework.
5. Mila J
Arguably the most dramatic reworking of ‘Hotline Bling’ came from R&B musician Mila J. She produces a deeper bass and adds darker vocals to the cover, turning the club-banger into a brooding slow jam.
4. Sufjan Stevens
Stevens threw his hat in the ring with this playful cover during a show in New Jersey this past weekend. A stark departure from his indie-folk sound, Stevens proved he can just about turn anything he touches into gold in this hilarious trolling effort.
3. Kiana Brown
Another YouTube star tries their hand at ‘Hotline Bling’, with incredible results. Kiana Brown’s cover clocks in at less than two minutes, teasing her gorgeous soulful rendition. Brown keeps the original lyrics, but turns the song into a piano led ballad accompanied by dreamy vocals.
2. Disclosure and Sam Smith
The dance duo teamed up with frequent collaborator Sam Smith on this BBC Live Lounge cover from September. Injecting a house beat and gospel backing singers, Disclosure also utilise Sam Smith’s jaw-dropping vocals in this tropical version.
1. Alessia Cara
A truly stunning acoustic version from the 19-year-old Canadian is the best cover of the song to date. Doing away with the fanfare and bombastic production on Drake’s original, Cara re-imagines the track as a sweet acoustic number. Combining a soft guitar riff and her velvety vocals, she confidently turns the original on its head in this heartfelt and unique cover.