Mixtape Review: Ivan Ooze ’93 KFC Rotisserie Gold’
Since first hitting the scene back in 2014, Melbourne rapper Ivan Ooze has been riding a wave of success – countless tours, support slots for some of the biggest names in rap, and two well-received and highly-acclaimed releases, ‘Ringwood Rich’ EP and ‘The Social Alien’ mixtape.
He has shown no signs of slowing down this year, having already toured Australia with Wu-Tang Clan, recorded tracks with Ghostface, and has now released his much anticipated ‘’93 KFC Rotisserie Gold’ mixtape.
“The 14-track project aims to provide something for everyone, a mix of melodic pop-rap and obvious club bangers.”
Ooze explained the homage to the fast food giant, saying “I called the mixtape ’93 KFC Rotisserie Gold’ because back in 1993 KFC were the first ever fast food chain to advertise a rotisserie chicken in the world. It was basically a game changer in the fast food world.
“The chicken was known to be packed with a whole new flavour, left a customer satisfied yet still hungry for more and boosted their popularity. I feel like what I am doing and what I have accomplished (so far) in the Australian hip hop scene matches up quite well with how the chicken was received to the public,” Ooze said.
The 14-track project aims to provide something for everyone, a mix of melodic pop-rap and obvious club bangers. However, in its effort to please every audience, it falls short and ends up feeling like two distinct projects that have been thrown together.
With the exception of the opening track ’93 KFC Rotisserie GOLD, the first seven tracks keep it fairly low-key with a strong focus on melodic hooks. Like That, Like This is the most upbeat track of the project and tries very hard to offer an inspirational and meaningful message. However, in execution it comes across as overly simplistic.
“Drugs Again…sees Ooze reflect on his own vices, displaying a sense of self-awareness that is not seen elsewhere on the mixtape.”
Drugs Again, on the other hand, sees Ooze reflect on his own vices, displaying a sense of self-awareness that is not seen elsewhere on the mixtape. It is also one of the few tracks that sees Ooze step out from behind the sometimes overwhelming beats, and showcase his rhyming ability. Music Therapy, featuring Dylan Joel, is another standout, if you can overlook a rather insensitive Michael J. Fox reference. Ooze and Joel have great chemistry and bounce off each other well making for an enjoyable and fun track.
It is with 64 More Bars of Carnage that we see a distinct shift in the mood. Ooze offers up a number of standard bass-heavy club bangers such as the lead single and troublemaker anthem HOOLIGANS. While these tracks will no doubt be incredibly popular, it seems as though they are trying to recapture the feeling of last year’s pervasive earworm Fire without really offering up anything new. The mixtape closes out with Imagination, which samples Pure Imagination from the 1971 film ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’. This use of nostalgia acts as a shortcut to an emotional response in listeners but in this case it feels particularly jarring as the sample is not really reflective of the generation he is speaking to.
With the exception of a few standout tracks, “93 KFC Rotisserie Gold’ does very little to showcase Ooze’s ability as a rapper, often letting the beats take centre stage instead. No one can deny that his rapid fire flow can at times be impressive but a number offensive lyrics, in particular the use of a homophobic slur on 64 More Bars of Carnage, taint the experience. Ultimately, the project feels a little rushed, perhaps the result of such high levels of anticipation.
Read our interview with Ivan Ooze HERE
Ivan Ooze ’93 KFC Rotisserie Gold Tour Dates
SAT 23 APR
The Grass Is Greener, Cairns
SAT 30 APR
Groovin’ The Moo, Bendigo
THURS 12 MAY
Jimmy’s Den, Perth
FRI 13 MAY
Arcade Nightclub, Joondalup
SAT 14 MAY
Rocket Bar, Adelaide
THURS 19 MAY
Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
FRI 20 MAY
Agenda Nightclub, Toowoomba
SAT 21 MAY
Flinders Social, Townsville
FRI 27 MAY
Karova Lounge, Ballarat
SAT 28 MAY
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
THURS 2 JUNE
FRI 3 JUNE
Newtown Social Club, Sydney
SAT 4 JUNE
The Small Ballroom, Newcastle (U18)
SAT 4 JUNE
The Small Ballroom, Newcastle
Get Tickets HERE