May 2014 National Music Reviews

Reviews: Sleep – Oregon Failure

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Sleep
Oregon Failure
Strange Famous Records
Street: 04.15
Sleep = Macklemore x Insane Clown Posse

“Thrift Shop” did more than provide an anthem for white tweenagers who don’t otherwise enjoy hip-hop. It also inspired artists like Sleep (not to be confused with the rock band) to make rap so terrible that Vanilla Ice seems legit by comparison. Never mind if the only hip-hop you know is The Heist and Eminem’s latest shitshow—you can still rap. Just look at what McDonalds and Ronald Lewis have accomplished with zero respect for African-American musical traditions. Oregon Failure is Sleep’s sad attempt to capitalize on “inspirational” whiteboy rap. He overcomes great adversity, like breaking up with his girlfriend and moving out of his parent’s house. Problem is, Sleep’s efforts to conquer his greatest obstacle fall flat. On “The Beat” he raps, “I’m the guy who knows the guy that made your favorite jam.” Even if I believed that, I struggle to see how that recommends him. –Dan Vesper

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