Ramson Badbonez – A Year In The Life of Oscar The Slouch – Review

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UK hip hop is a genre that has been expanding since the days in which it was born. New artists are constantly emerging and breathing new energy into a slowly crowding scene. The newest rapper to join the ranks of the highly acclaimed UK hip hop label High Focus goes by the name of Ramson Badbonez.

His debut album “A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch” was released through High Focus on the 9th December and is a great way to round the year off for the label. The album itself seems like it has been written in the form of an original long player. Each track is linked to the next and also to the overall concept of the album.

This is the first time we have seen a High Focus artist really embrace the idea of a concept album, the concept of this being the different months of the year. Ramson touches on a range of different topics, including how the weather influences certain emotions during different times of the year. This is a very good way of exploring new ways of writing for the artist, as an actual concept is often missing from most hip hop albums being released nowadays.

This theme allows the album to flow and another thing that allows the project to roll through so smoothly is the way that Ramsom variates his cadence constantly. In ‘Just The Way it is’ this is the element which allows the track to stand out as one of the best on the album. He is given the platform to experiment with his vocal performance due to how high the standard of production is throughout the album.

In regards to the instrumentals Ramson has vocalized, there is a very strong range of production styles employed. Some of the tracks in the middle of the track listing, like ‘Foul Moods’ for instance, have a clear American influence behind them. This track features hard hitting drum patterns and even a scratched Busta sample over the hook section. The entire album was produced by Charlie Mac, who has done a fantastic job. The variation of the styles within the project allow Ramson to really experiment with his lyricism without a worry.

‘O.T.S’ discusses the month of October and how this is the period of the year where things start to become difficult for everyone who isn’t living in a dream world. This track also features a phenomenal chorus from the sensational voice of Rag’n’Bone man. Rag’n’Bone is another artist that just seems to have gone from strength to strength since he joined the High Focus roster.

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It’s often hard to make a body of work sound cohesive with so many features, as it can make a project sound like it’s just a collection of tracks randomly thrown together. However, with this it seems to of done quite the opposite. The features include yet more material from High Focus legend Jam Baxter, surprise verse on ‘Scruffy, Bummy, Hungry’ from Joker Starr, a set of very controversial statements from Genesis Elijah on ‘Chains & Whips’ and many more to pay attention to!

What a great way to end a very successful year for both the artist and his label. This was well organised project, executed perfectly through high quality instrumentals and intense lyricism.

Be sure to purchase the album from this link!

Written By Jay McDougall (@Sleepygee1)

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