Disclaimer: All views presented in this mixtape review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O
When I listen to mixtapes, I want to see how cohesively the artist has put together the project and what their goal was, so that even a first time listener would be able to get a sense of what their heart is. I have heard of Oscar Urbina, but I have never heard any of his music before today. So, approaching this, I was intensively listening to his creative approach, his verbal ability, and mind frame through the songs presented in this project. From the title itself, Finally, Oscar Urbina gives off the impression that this music is a long time coming, with the hint of a deeper meaning attached to it. So, I dove in headfirst to the mixtape and from my listening experience, I like what I’ve heard. Allow me to explain why.
As I finished the last track, it was made clear to me that Oscar is very educated and has a strong grasp of the English language. This is pretty evident, as Oscar is also a spoken word artist, who displayed that gifting in his two spoken word tracks “Finally” & “Trust More” (which features Los from HGA). However, it became very clear that Oscar is more than just a rapper. He made it very clear with his first track to the project. “Pressure” is a transparent song about Oscar’s life and how the surrounding world affects his thought process at times. I found myself directly relating to a lot of what was in this song, so Oscar officially grabbed my attention with this one.
I’m also not one for catchy songs just to have catchy songs. One or two make sense, but I find that when you have too many songs that don’t have meaningful content, the credibility of the project as a whole can take a hit. It’s a big plus if the songs are catchy but mean something, and I found that to be true of “Cinderella” & “Mountain Top.” I found myself instantly singing the hook for “Cinderella,” and in the same vein, the hook for “Mountain Top” (which features Gemstones). “Mountain Top” is a hype song that kind of has the “turn up” formula, and is a song that project that is released these days “has to have.” However, both of these songs are legitimate songs about looking above the cares of the world; pushing beyond the American dream of gaining material possession or vain deceit because it’s not going to do anything for your soul.
Now that Oscar had my attention from the first listen through, I gave it a few more listens in order to discover the deeper meaning within the mixtape, and to what the title “Finally” eludes to.
The first glimpse into the deeper meanings of the mixtape come in the song “My Cities,” which explain how Oscar’s life has led him to multiple cities of residence. Each city has taught him something and helped shape him into the man he is today. And in each stop, his growth in the word and to God drew deeper roots into his soul. That, in turn, allowed for his songs to be filled with the word in a realer way than they used to be. “Thorns & Thistles,” which features Social Club is about is a song that deals with the inner struggles of ego, pride, a haunting past, and the like. And dealing with the fact that we have fallacies in our actions and the fact that our hearts are inherently evil is hard sometimes.
The song “Making Up For Lost Time” is a necessary wake up call for all Christians. It is an iron sharpening iron type of song, and I do believe that Oscar was also talking to himself when it came to it. Oscar also shows that he is unafraid to go deep into theology with a song like “He is God” featuring Serge. I really liked this song because it broke down the sovereignty of God.
As a Christian, we are never done growing, but milestones are important and bring meaning to the bigger picture of our lives in God’s eyes. Overall, Finally is a statement of arrival to the next level for Oscar Urbina. Through the trials in his life that have taught him life lessons like in “Goodbye” (featuring Gabriel Jonusas), the growth of his family in “We Are Young”, and a joyous revelation to God’s endless love pursuit of us in “Won’t Let Me Go”, Oscar Urbina has come to a new place in the Lord. His gifting as a communicator has benefited his musical efforts, making this mixtape a great representation of the kind of artist, and man of God, that Oscar is.
Anyone hearing of Oscar for the first time through this mixtape will be as drawn into his storytelling as I was. While there were beats that sounded like some of the mainstream beats you hear today, they weren’t overkill. There was just enough trap, just enough upbeat, just enough “turn up”, and just enough introspective. Finally was a well put together project that represented the road of Oscar Urbina to date and I really enjoyed it.