For those who have spent time in the New York City underground and come across Warren Britt, there is a good chance that he was in the crowd, enthusiastically cheering on fellow New York City MCs, erupting with an energy of at least four hype men bundled into one. You may have seen him leap on stage at one of these events, like I have on several occasions, to provide emphatic adlibs and monstrous crowd-hyping screams, often unleashing an infectious surge of energy across the venue. By the end of any given song that he has assisted in this manner, Britt will likely be sweating more than the main act.
As an MC, his spirit of camaraderie is also evident, as on his recent EP release The Britt ISH Is Coming, where Britt shares the mic with artists on four of nine tracks. The project, however, is definitely born of Britt’s DNA, going from 0 to 60 immediately with the energetically spastic intro title track, produced by Spills.
On this release, Britt is generally working the “have fun and party” angle, a good fit for his charismatic character, evidenced best by songs like “Phat Bottom Girls” with Jose Nova and “Ain’t No Party Like a Hip-Hop Party,” though the latter of which slightly missed it’s potential.
Britt, also a member of rhyme collective FAm!ll (Britt, BS, Albert Rhymestein, The MC Faceman, Grey Matter, Truth Now) as well as Underdogz along with Otis Clapp, adjusts his tone enough so that energetic delivery is never overused, and aside from volume changes, Britt varies his inflection well, a characteristic I find that too many MCs lack.
“My Name Is Warren” is one of the better sounding tracks, a solid package of delivery, lyrics, chorus, cuts by DJ Dylemma and production by KO Beatz, who has caught the attention of our ears a few times now. Good production also drives the melancholy ”The Rain,” featuring the talented Adrienne Mack-Davis, who helps make this the project’s other standout track. Despite Britt’s conscious effort to lean toward party records, it was these two, more thoughtful tracks, which stood out best to us.
Full disclosure: The remix to “In The City,” Britt’s collaboration with YC The Cynic (one of our “5 Reasons Why New York Hip Hop Doesn’t Suck“) and J Monopoly, was produced by Manny Faces, the creator and Editor in Chief of Birthplace Magazine, and author of this entry. That being said, “In The City” is a great example of Britt’s ability to spit on topic as well demonstrating how well his collaborative nature can work to his benefit, as YC and Monopoly complimented Britt extremely well on this song.
Overall, The Britt ISH Is Coming is an honest and diverse effort, though it is one that might be best received by those who personally know him. Not necessarily because the music isn’t good enough to stand on it’s own, but because the effect of Britt’s musical efforts are emphasized by being able to actually picture his gregarious and entertainingly hyperactive persona. Not gimmicky, Britt’s just a fun guy to watch, an x-factor which can sometimes be difficult to sonically capture. But with more efforts like “My Name Is Warren,” “The Rain” and “In The City,” added to his optimistic demeanor and rambunctious stage presence, Britt should gain his own Britt-like supporters, helping charge up his audience like he so often does to others.
Download/Listen: Warren Britt – The Britt ISH Is Coming
Check out Warren Britt “Spittin in the Whip” with the homie Crazy Al Cayne (CAC-TV)
Warren Britt, YC The Cynic, J Monopoly – In The City (original version)