By Jack Barnes
Able to switch on a dime from burbling melodies to percussive bars, Chicago’s Warhol.SS is one of the most skilled rhymers of the SoundCloud era. After years of building a massive fanbase through streaming and social media, Warhol prepares to drop Chest Pains, his upcoming debut album. Combining immersive trap-style beats and energetic ad-libs with an old-school sense of songwriting and slick lyricism, Chest Pains finds the 20-year-old Warhol.SS coming to his own, unifying his experimental ideas and his commercial ambitions. Though the album boasts gorgeous production and infectious hooks, Warhol.SS imbues the project with heavy symbolism–with a title referring to his rough upbringing in Chicago and an album cover featuring bumble bees, reflecting Warhol’s status as the “last of a dying breed.” Featuring appearances from Trippie Redd, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, Rico Nasty, UnoTheActivist, and Lil Duke, with production from the likes of Murda Beatz, Kenny Beats, Cashmoney AP, Harry Fraud, and others, Chest Pains arrives on November 14th via EMPIRE. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump and please share this with friends.
Warhol.SS explains the meaning behind the album title: “There’s been a lot lot I’ve had to endure, growing up in the South side of Chicago. No one knows all the obstacles, but it’s just a fact. I take shit to the chest, whether it’s bad, whether it’s good. I’m taking it like a man and moving along. The ups and downs all come with the bigger picture of success. I feel like I’m the last of a dying breed. My father taught me to respect everyone the same, from the janitor to homeless people to CEOs. I think I’m the only one of my generation who tries to do that.”
To accompany the announcement of the mixtape, Warhol shares “With Ease,” the project’s lead single. Propelled by a spritely piano riff, courtesy of producer Cashmoney AP, “With Ease” is a bouncy flexer’s anthem, with Warhol stacking melodic and boastful rhymes into the beat’s negative spaces. Premiered by Complex, “With Ease” is anchored by one of Warhol’s most infectious hooks–an auto-tuned slurry of excess and self-confidence.
Born on Chicago’s East Side, Warhol.SS grew up in a music-loving family, with a mother who loved Erykah Badu and a father who loved MF DOOM. Inspired by his city’s famous “Class of 2012” drill rappers, Warhol started making music in high school, jumping headfirst into the game after graduation. In 2016, Warhol.SS shared the video for “Speed Racer,” directed by then-newcomer Cole Bennett, who posted the video on his YouTube channel, Lyrical Lemonade. A head-spinning video even by Bennett’s standards, the video shrunk Warhol down to the size of a model car as he floated through a psychedelic landscape, introducing the world to Warhol and racking up over 2.8 million views in the process. Since releasing “Speed Racer,” Warhol has been one of the most in-demand names of rap’s digital youth, collaborating with the likes of Trippie Redd, Rich The Kid, Ski Mask The Slump God, Famous Dex, ThouxbanFauni, and many more, dropping Warhol ’16 and Where’s Warhol, a pair of seven-track mixtapes, and building a reputation as an exceptional rhymer. With Chest Pains, Warhol.SS looks to parlay his internet notoriety into IRL fame.
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Props to WARHOL.SS