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Reading, United Kingdom

First formed in 2014, the Reading-based brotherhood OSP - comprised of Esa Kwame (rapper, beat maker), J Blackz (rapper, singer-songwriter, beat maker), Silqe (rapper, beat maker), and Subject (producer, engineer) - has always strived to become a positive force within the UK’s hip-hop community. After a short hiatus in recent years, they reformed in the summer of 2021 with the goal of bringing their music to a wider and more engaged audience. Fusing raw and organic production with a smooth and progressive flow, their newest material continues that forward-thinking approach they have always pursued within their aesthetic, garnering a texture that borrows from both retro and contemporary influences alike. OSP worked alongside 'Riser' - a platform for new music and artists. An ethical, not for profit music label created by Reading-based music charity, Readipop, supported by Arts Council England. So let's get our teeth into this project!

Opening with 'Breathe' we're presented with a choppy and dreamy synth before the appearance of soulful vocals. Before we know it we're brought a rap verse that is reminiscent of Dappy's flow in his early works as part of NDubz. There are so many different flows in the vocals of this piece. I identified a minimum of 2 rap flows and one soulful vocal style. Track 2 titled 'Fill It Up' brings a Stormzy flow to the project whilst making reference to Aitch behind an upbeat and cheeky beat packed with heavy 808s. We're then given an AJ Tracey style flow which I absolutely love. The vocals in this one are heavy and easy to remember - OSP is a whole vibe. Halfway through this project we're presented with 'When?'. This is a track with an old-school feel to it with a jazz-inspired piano synth and Hip-Hop vocals. We hear a female vocal backing make its way into this track alongside the classic AJ Tracey flow. We're brought the soulful collaboration of male/female vocals in the hook. This is my favorite track off this EP so far. I'm a massive fan. This is a SUPERGROUP. If you could imagine Stormzy and AJ formed a band and wacked some more soul into the equation - you have OSP. 'Let’s Do Something' is the next track on the EP. IT BRINGS A WHOLE NEW LEVEL TO THIS GROUPS ARTISTRY. FUNK SOUL ALL THE WAY in the opening of this production. This one got me singing along instantly. Again, catchy lyrics, a hard rap flow, and overall high energy are maintained throughout the duration of this project. To end this EP 'When?' is brought back with a remix version 'When? (Riser Dub)'. This version got me in my feelings through its dreamy nature. It makes way for the appreciation of the instrumental and the soulful element of the vocals in the absence of rap verses. This dub brings EDM to the track with hi-hats and classic EDM drum loops. To conclude my review, this is a group that bring together familiar sounds that are found in mainstream music through solo artists however, the union of OSP brings something fresh to the scene by combining multiple mainstream sounds together to make what I can only call a SUPERGROUP. If there is anyone in the industry who is looking for a hip-hop inspired supergroup with a fresh/modern sound - Click the below to hear OSP - Their sound is not to be missed.


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