Review of Lost Girl by Baby OSL
Rap’s leading ladies – (off the top of my head, by no means a definitive list) TLC, Nicki Minaj, Eve, Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, Lil Kim, Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill (‘Lost Ones’ – so good), Azealia Banks – have set the bar high. That’s not to say there’s no room for newcomers.
But, considering their male counterparts command a much larger slice of the success pie (as Tom Hawking so aptly put it, “Hip hop’s enduring fascination with dick-waving has long been one of the genre’s least appealing characteristics”, female MCs have to offer something pretty fresh to push through and get noticed. Not to mention today’s rap and hip-hop superstars generally appeal and are accessible to a wider audience (think Minaj, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Drake).
Unfortunately, Baby OSL’s ‘Lost Girl’ doesn’t deliver.
The lady can rap; her talent appears just before the 30-second mark. (Problem is, if I wasn’t reviewing the song, I would’ve turned it off by then.) As a rapper- singer, not so much. Her rapping and the backing track (a drum-machine loop that reminds me of the pre-mixed tones on a little Casio keyboard I had as a kid in the 80s) seem out of sync at times. The backing music wouldn’t have been so bad if it was just the snare, but there’s an underwatery echo beat that doesn’t fit.
Rapping, rather than singing, is clearly Baby’s strength. The more I listened to the track, the more it seemed like the chorus was hastily written and inserted to break up the rap. There’s not a lot of flow to the rapping (fellow Brit newbie Lady Leshurr has this down, among others but she sure is speedy.
More effort and skill in production would have made this more enjoyable and added much needed energy. The titular ‘Lost Girl’ (as in J.M.Barrie’s Lost Boys) is evident in the sung chorus, but the dark themes and lyrics seem better suited to a gritty backing track, in the vein of Nas’ ‘NY State of Mind’.
As a rapper, there’s potential, but I’d like to see what Baby OSL would do with a Biggie feat. Diddy and Mase ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’-style track where her rap is over the top of a backing melody or actual song, rather than just a bad drum-machine loop. Or, in a‘feat. Baby OSL capacity, i.e. as a guest voice. This could showcase her spitting skills, a la Angel Haze on Eminem’s ‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’.
Baby OSL’s ‘Lost Girl’ is the lead single on her mixtape, also called ‘Lost Girl’. It’s available for download on Soundcloud.com and Facebook.
Review by Emma Groves