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While all eyes were on Drake this past week as he battled ghostwriting accusations, laughed off a public beef with Meek Mill and prepared for the 6ixth annual OVO Fest, The Boy was also setting up to sign 18-year-old Guyanese-Canadian singer Roy Wood$ to his OVO Sound roster. And to many, it seemed like a predictable move. Scooping up Toronto's murky crooners has become a near tradition for the 6 God and comparisons of his newest signee to current and former OVO Sound members is expected as the owl gang has only solidified their signature ambiance of moody imagery, minimal electronic soundscapes dripping in echo and reverb with the addition of Wood$. But while overtones are palpable, they also hinder the objectiveness needed to take in the young singer's individual artistry, an impartialness he deserves.

Roy Wood$' OVO Sound debut is laced with (an appropriate) 6 tracks, as EXIS serves as a strong introduction to the rising Brampton native. The EP starts off mediocre, offering 'Innocence' as the most green track on the project, hindered by unfocused vocals that seem like a hybrid of everything the owl crew has ever produced. But the project picks up exceptionally and takes off passionately on 'Go Go Go', carrying through to the Drake-assisted 'Drama' that helped build buzz for the OVO youngin' by premiering on the OVO Sound Beats 1 Radio weeks prior.

Choosing to disregard genre lines, blending gritty R&B with rap undertones, Roy tackles the monogrammed OVO subject matter of petty friendships, broken relationships and late night decisions laced in soft vocals and Toronto slang, but his young perspective offers a fresh voice to the collective that somehow dodges redundancy.

Ending off the EP with the pinnacle 'Jealousy', Roy taps into his most ambient and emotional songwriting. It's aura music. And the cut is fitting, as people are about to get a whole lot more jealous. As one of the chosen talents hand-picked from his city to join the OVO collective - which in a post-Drake Toronto, is one of the few ways for an artist to come up - Roy has been plucked from near obscurity and showcased on the world's stage while Drake and Co. continues to dominate at the top of the game.

The easy part is over, as Wood$ has made a resilient first impression on EXIS, but the true test of longevity is yet to be confirmed. Does Roy Wood$ have what it takes to last or is he a nice sonic hors d'oeuvres to tie us over until PartyNextDoor drops his next project or until we're finally blessed with Drake's Views From The 6? Whatever the case, he's worthy of his moment.

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