Ramson Badbonez – A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch [Review] [@RamsonBadbonez]
Wide variety of guest verses and instrumentals used with a consistent level of clear and precise vocal delivery from Ramson.
A somewhat limited selection of lyrical content, although this could be down to the concept of the album.
Ramson Badbonez is a UK based rap artist that prides himself on being a living and breathing embodiment of the Hip Hop culture who, first gained recognition for his abilities at the tender age of just fourteen years old, by UK hip hop godfathers, Task Force.
After being picked up by prolific UK rap collective, Task Force, Ramson went on to feature on numerous releases from high profile artists in the UK hip hop game, including the likes of; Mud Fam, Jehst, Verb T and Mystro, to name a few.
The string of well received features from the young Londoner eventually lead to Ramson crossing paths with revered producer, Harry Love, the pair producing The Official Mixtape Vol 1 which further cemented Ramson Badbonez’ position in the UK rap scene.
Since the days of The Official Mixtape Vol 1 Ramson has been relentlessly dropping mixtapes and tracks to further establish himself as a unique artist, even dropping a critically acclaimed album along the way.
Priding himself on the fact that he can relate to any fan of rap music, be it road rap or conscious rap and everything in between, Ramson has teamed up with respected UK record label, High Focus Records, to release his second album, A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch, which he aims to use to portray the gutter street life without touching on general cliches.
As the title may suggest, A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch is a conceptual release which see’s Ramson Badbonez attempt to take the role of narrator and provide you with an in-depth insight to a grimey crime riddled life, in London, over the period of a year. Or as Ramson put it, its a “conceptual representation of a crime in the city element at one of its highest activity points encapsulated within a specific time period“.
Sticking to the theme of the album, the release has fourteen tracks; one for every month of the year plus an intro and outro, all named accordingly.
Featuring full production from the talented producer, Charlie Mac, and guest verses from the likes of; Genesis Elijah, Fliptrix and many more, it is safe to say that this album come’s with high expectations.
From the off any hip hop fan is sure to be pleased by the high level of production which instantly slaps you in the face (on the track January) with authentic sounding cuts, a heavy bass line and prominently placed trumpets.
Throughout the run-time of A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch Charlie mac delivers banger after banger, each beat providing its own vibe but still carrying a true hip hop sound that is becoming synonymous with his name.
The versatility of both Charlie Mac, and the album in general, is highlighted when you consider the difference in overall sound and mood between the two tracks April and September, one providing a relaxed and uplifting atmosphere while the other causing a mood of uncertainty and intensity.
Needless to say, Ramson Badbonez delivers in the vocal department, matching the tone set by Charlie Mac on each occasion.
During the entire play time of A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch both artist’s combine their musical styles to effortlessly demonstrate a harmonious relationship between producer and vocalist.
With A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch Ramson Badbonez has once more proven to the hip hop world that he is a true, authentic hip hop artist with a flexible flow and clear delivery. His ability to adapt his tempo, and overall mood portrayed, to fit the tone of the track is highlighted numerous times throughout the release, as is his ability to hold his own among strong guest collaborators.
Although the release is honestly a consistently strong one, i do have personal favourites. The tracks from the recent album, YITLOOTS by Ramson Badbonez, that stood out to me the most are; Whateva Da Weatha, Chains & Whips and O.T.S.
My reasoning behind the selection of two of the tracks (Whateva Da Weatha and O.T.S) is simple – The hook is simply amazing. On both the tracks the chorus is what makes them, with What Eva Da Weatha the chorus is scarily reminiscent of Hip Hop legend Nate Dogg and the husky low key vocals provide a perfect contrast to the high strung instrumental. On O.T.S the soulful offering from the talented Rag N Bone Man matches the vibe and theme of the track adding a depth which takes it to the next level.
The cause of selection for the track Chains & Whips is different to that of the two other personal stand outs – For this track I feel that it is lyrically above everything else on the release, both Genesis Elijah & Ramson are spot on with their lyrical content and, I personally feel that they have encapsulated the hustle and bustle of September month brilliantly – For me September is like the calm before the storm, the summer has just ended and everyone is preparing for an onslaught of end of year festivities.
Overall I would say that A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch by Ramson Badbonez is a high quality release that any fan of traditional or old school hip hop will have on repeat for days, if not months. But, while the level of production and lyricism never seem to fall below par, the creative aspect of the album is most certainly questionable.
I say that with the feeling that I am maybe being a bit harsh since the album is meant as a conceptual piece in general, but I do feel that their isn’t much on offer in terms of diversity in content matter. I understand that the album was called “A Year In The Life Of Oscar THE SLOUCH” and not “365 Days With Harry The Hallucinogenic Party Animal”, I just feel that to some extents Ramson worked himself into a slight rut at points when focusing on the character of Oscar The Slouch. But then again, I may just be being an over critical nit picker, who knows??
What ever the case, the album is definitely one worth the money and will most certainly help to propel the career of an already respected Hip Hop artist from London.
To conclude, A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch by Ramson Badbonez is a solid release that, any fan of classic hip hop instrumentals partnered with a raw and un-tainted flow, is bound to love. Go cop it!