OxfordGang is a group who utilize clean production, lyricism and slick flow to deliver cerebral rap projects that not only make your head bop, but also leaves you thinking. “Election Year” is their latest instalment, a 4 song EP where Black Canvas takes us into his world view on American politics with a view from the streets. I’ll be honest, this project is reminiscent of a Nas era album.
“Larger Than Life” was a stand out for me. The production was clean and the flow was smooth as Black Canvas literally dances over this beat. Lyrically, this song is clever and you can kind of tell that these guys had a bit of fun with this, even though the subject matter is quite serious.
Another favorite was OXG Forever. This is the shortest song on the tape and has no hook, but that sample! This is a great song and it felt like Black Canvas was really in his zone by this point of the project. With bars like “When you trying to change the world, commercialism don’t attract”, it’s clear that OXG weren’t playing on this track. What I love is that he manages to maintain the subject matter of the project as a whole. This is proof of the ability to put together a complete body of work.
“Control” is the final track and it goes hard! Black Canvas does a great job with his cadence on this track. He does a good job on this across the project, really, but this is a stand out. My biggest criticism of this song is that it is the final project. It left me wanting to hear a little more because by this point, I felt as though I was beginning to understand Black Canvas’s view point and then we were finished.
I am always a fan of well thought out concept projects. This was definitely one of those. Everything seemed to fit, sonically. The production, lyrics, flow, even song placement. Again, my point of criticism is that I would have like to hear a little more. But maybe that means that Oxford Gang did their job. This is a politically charged EP, so if you are not in the mood to think, this may not be for you. But if you have an open mind and enjoy well put together hip hop music, you might enjoy this one, regardless of where you sit politically. All in all, this was a good project. Go show Black Canvas some love on IG: @black_canvas_oxg.