Proteges are often a mixed bag when it comes to rappers, but few have as strong a track record as The Streets’ Mike Skinner. The Mitchell Brothers, Example and Professor Green all blew up on Mike’s label The Beats Recordings, and helped dominate the charts in the late 2000s. There’s probably not a better co-sign, given The Streets transcended all genres and became a household name in the UK. Oscar #Worldpeace is the latest “protege”, with The Streets actually making an appearance on Oscar’s debut album “Sporadic”.
After the promising “Shine” sees Oscar share his renewed sense of purpose, with new life effectively giving him more life, “Sporadic” is surprisingly scattershot although explains the title. Songs barely scrape over the two-minute mark, so never fully get going with the highly-anticipated Mike Skinner feature being the standout moment.
“Leave the Devil Outside” lets Oscar breathe – he has the appropriate canvas to paint his picture and bounces off of Mike effectively. The way the beat kicks in fully at the 57-second mark shows up the other songs, that’s for sure. Mike Skinner’s few bars further exemplify why his music is still so revered today, as he compares the look of disappointment to the “last sandwich in Tesco Metro”. If you listen to one track from this album/EP – make sure it’s this one.
“Evening Time” has that Rae Sremmurd approach to songwriting where the verses are delivered like mini-hooks, and it inevitably becomes an earworm that you’ll find yourself humming days later. The remaining tracks almost try to replicate this formula but never quite succeed. “Ooo” opts for hypnotic yet repetitive production which doesn’t fit with the smoother songs. “Mmm” also opts for a sound effect assist, showing Oscar’s background in grime, but feels underproduced with the “mmm” quickly irritating. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this works better in live shows.
The worst track is, unfortunately, titled “2Pac”, thematically all over the place and the primitive rhymes on display are bordering on the disrespectful:
“She throws it back, ain’t holdin’ back
My hair was patched, went bald like Pac
Don’t get attached, I’m fallin’ back
We’re both a catch, she brought me back
Might fade to black, I stayed attached”
There are a lot of similarities between “Sporadic” and Lil Nas X’s “7 EP” – the execution may differ but the record is largely simple ideas that struggle to fill their two minute runtime. Perhaps it’s aimed at the short attention spans of 2020’s audience, but listening to Oscar’s earlier, more genuine efforts like “Twix” and “Raw”; and the excellent collaboration with The Streets; it’s clear Oscar’s a talented prospect worthy of the Mike Skinner co-sign, but this record doesn’t highlight this enough.