Rabble-rousing rapper Warhol.SS is one of a small clutch of locals tied to Lyrical Lemonade, a Chicago hip-hop blog that’s also known for presenting concerts, selling clothes, and making music videos (directed by site founder Cole Bennett). As I wrote in a recent Reader feature, Lyrical Lemonade’s renown has grown in the past year because Bennett has started collaborating with so-called Soundcloud rappers from around the country—usually underground, sometimes rowdy, and often lo-fi, they’re unified more by their choice of online platform than by a common musical style. The flexibility of the term “Soundcloud rap” means that all sorts of rising MCs can benefit from the increasing attention paid to the phenomenon—especially those who’ve already hit the platform’s charts, like Warhol.SS.
Warhol is already doing well, in part because of his relationship with Lyrical Lemonade: Bennett manages him and has directed many of his most popular videos. Warhol also performed at Lyrical Lemonade’s huge Summer Bash at the Portage Theater in July, where he got the kids moshing with an enthusiasm I hadn’t seen all night. The EP he dropped last week, Where’s Warhol?, conveys some of the reckless energy of his live sets—with his drowsy snarl and nonchalant brashness, he bulldozes through beats like they’re just in his way. On Monday Warhol tweeted that four of the eight songs on Where’s Warhol? had reached Soundcloud’s “new and hot” chart, though when I checked on Tuesday only three remained (“Pistons” at number 20, “Chicago” at 34, and “Froze” at 41). On my favorite song from the EP, “Decisions,” Warhol balances his ruggedness with a soporific melodic flow, and I’m playing it so often that I might get it onto the “new and hot” chart myself.