So check it out… I had the privilege of getting Sam Wartenbee aka Sammy Warm Hands (SWH) new – “Famous Last Words” album ahead of its release to review it, damn I love what I do…
“Famous Last Words” is the final album of a trilogy, with “Bears Repeating” & “Freewriters” being its predecessors. It drops on the 7 April, distributed on CD by Sammy’s the one and only Crushkill Recordings and cassette by Flossless Audio. The album will be released in conjunction with his first book, by the same name, which chronicles his 17 years of recording history.
First off, I checked out his latest music video on Youtube (Anti – Fun), from the get go, the beat caught me and the melodic keys insisted I take note and get involved. The music video is no Paramount Pictures production, but accompanied with the beat and lyrics, the intention is clear, music as it stands is as generic as the cardboard boxes that are used for packaging. In my mind Sammy Warm Hands is making a bold statement, not to criticize other artists work, but to challenge the majorities conventional thinking of what Hip Hop is and the current perception of how “rappers” should portray themselves and their music. He is a prime example of being the change he wants to see by making the music that inspires him, the reason for his passion.
Ok… Time to tuck in. The first track, albeit the title track “Famous Last Words” aka Nobody Gives A Fuck, sets the tone for the album. The rolling double bass accompanied with the classic boom-bap snare kick combination and a soulful brass sample immediately creates an aura of too cool for school (someone pass me my Wayferer’s because he just went blues brothers on this shit). His soulful lyrics and smooth on-point flow take to life with each beat, as he moves through different elements flawlessly. The style of songs range from sing-a-long hype type of tracks to a live recording, conceptual songs, sociopolitical and story-telling, giving the album a nice well-rounded balance. Sammy’s ability pour out his emotions is just another way his music challenges the mainstream way of thinking because as far as traditional emceeing goes, there is this preconceived notion that emotion is weakness and an overall gangsta no…no, but to the contrary, he harnesses his vulnerability and utilizes it as his greatest strength, it allows the listener to relate personally and lets us peak into his mind and soul as well as feel his heart through his art.
The album features the likes of ThatKidCry – “Before doors open”, Rabbi Hanan Sills – “Ferguson Freewrites”, Vazkez – “Midnight” and Man Danno – “Dan Sammo”, if I had to choose my favorite feature, it’ll probably go to Man Danno, he had the most unique sound and style which was very refreshing. Each accompanying artist adds their own unique flavor to this gourmet Hip Hop dish, I can just picture it now, Master Chef Hip Hop edition hosted by Raekwon and he says, “Mayn, these other artists best protect their neck cuz your method man is bringing the CREAM, dolla dolla bill ya’ll, Warm Hands aint nuthin to f@#k wit.”
Ok… Enough random cut away’s, back to the music. All the beats were composed by K.I. Design, where the simplicity is the key to emphasizing the mood and unlocking the Fort Knoxx of thoughts the lyrics provoke. All in all, K.I. Designs beats and SWH rhymes and production amalgamate into a beautiful artwork.
I can’t choose a favorite track, the list of tracks that didn’t take top spot is shorter, but here goes, “Famous Last Words”, “Midnight” ft. Vazkez, “Dan Sammo” ft. Man Danno, “Anti-fun” and “Vacant Eyes”, after listening to the album countless times I couldn’t choose between them, each one has their own unique sound and feel and are gems in their own right. In my opinion, the biggest flaw in the album is the last track which is a live recording of his submission for R.A. the Rugged Man’s Definition Of A Rap flow competition. To me it just comes across as cliche and cheesy. I like the live element but it’s almost as if SWH copped out by putting it on the track-list, the quality he offers is above sleezy competitions, don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing his entry, I just feel like everything prior was ALL him which was dope!dope!!DOPE!!!! And to put it on the album (let alone the last track of the trilogy), I’m left with a feeling that SWH sold himself short for what could be seen as a gimmick (nobodies perfect right?)
That said, it’s still one hell of a dope album that has a lot to offer, whether you the conscious type or just someone who enjoys good music. I give this album a rating of 3/5 punchlines and I highly recommend it to any indie Hip Hop head who has a love for the craft, especially if your flavor is along the lines of Atmosphere, Blueprint and Sage Francis. My “…Last Words” are, Sammy… I give you a Warm round of applause and I got to Hands it to you (see what I did there), this is the type of Hip Hop that I love to listen too and that inspires me as an artist. RESPECT!!!
Looking forward to your next drop.
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