If you’ve been to a hip hop show in NYC at any time in the past several years, odds are you’ve seen Warren S. Britt there either hosting, on stage performing, or in the crowd shouting every word back at the MCs. This week, Warren released his new project Awww You Mad?!, a seven-song EP produced entirely by Chaz Van Queen with features from Chaz and Fraze.
Half of the EP trades on nostalgia, though not how you’d expect when discussing a New York City hip hop release. As a lyricist, Warren successfully summons the good and bad aspects of nostalgia while peppering the lyrics with '90s references (Nancy Grace and Denzel Washington in Glory) and even the more modern touchstones trade on the past (Mad Men).
Songs such as “Fall Out Boy and Girl” have a more gentle touch, with Warren’s singing effectively putting you into the mental space of someone going over the pieces of failed relationship. While “Young” is probably the strongest track, as Warren’s combination of singing and rapping with Chaz’s dulcet production carries you off on a sea of summer warmth as the album closes.
Awww You Mad?! as an EP is underserved by the title track. Warren’s braggadocio there and on “The Real Housewives of Hip Hop” seems out of place even to him as he reaches for rhymes and breaks his own cadence to try to fit in the dozens-esque put downs into the rhythms of the tracks. The awkward hook of “unh unh unh all over her back” is very hard to reconcile with the Warren we get for “Fall Out Boy and Girl”.
The problem ultimately is that we have a million “Aww You Mad?!”s but not very many “Fall Out Boy and Girl”s or “Young”s, which unfortunately dilutes the uniqueness of these latter songs. Don't, however, allow that to let you overlook the very good and unique songs that Warren S. Britt has crafted on this release.