Electro-rapper Chancellor Warhol is dominating the Nashville hip-hop scene. Warhol’s fascination with Kurt Cobain, surrealist art and fashion meld together to form a unique brand of urban pop that’s all his own. We sat down with the rapper to discuss SZA, pop culture and turning poetry into songs.
How long have you been writing songs?
As long as I can remember really. I think I started to actually craft my writing out of heartbreak, what started as poetry in a sense became songs.
What percentage of the songs you write are keepers?
Haha, I think as an artist I would like to say 100%. I can get bored easily so if a song still has my attention weeks later, it’s a keeper. I try to perfect songs as much as possible before I give up on them, but if I had to say…80%.
Hip-hop and rap songs are usually filled with double entendres. What inspires you to come up with those? Has it become easier or harder to write those as you’ve grown as a writer?
This is true. I am inspired by pop culture, especially movies and art, as well as influences throughout my life. As time changes so does the culture around you. The possibilities are endless and I like to be clever. I think my fans appreciate that. I think once people catch on it’s easier to write as I grow as a writer. If you work at your craft, your palette and word play expands.
How do you go about writing songs?
I try to take myself to a place visually. I’m essentially creating the music video or a movie before I create the words. Also, when I co-write, I like to be engulfed in there world. I want to know what makes them tick creatively and as a human being.
What’s a lyric or verse from the album you’re a fan of?
From this past album? Hmm. Probably a line from Nothing ft William Wolf “…Got the headboard crooked, she’s Sleepless in Seattle and I’m No Sleep Til Brooklyn / Swear there’s nothing like you 3rd Rock From The Sun, I just want to wife you 3rd rock from the thumb.”
Who do you consider an underrated songwriter?
SZA, but I don’t think that will be for long.
What’s your songwriting process? How do you typically start a song?
I usually get the track first. Then I will write verses. Then a hook. I usually come up with most of my hook ideas in an airport or on the road. It just feels more nostalgic for me.
Do you prefer to write alone or co-write?
I’m 50/50, I love working with great minds and meeting people from all walks of life that you can learn from but I also like that feeling of isolation and writing alone is like being an only child, the mind is forced to be more creative as a source of entertainment.
Do you ever do any other kinds of writing?
I’ve been working on a script for the past three months.
Are there any words you love or hate?
Hate “Club” but I understand it’s necessary evil in songwriting.
What’s the last song you wrote or started?
A song called “School Yard”. It’ll be the hip hop Stand By Me.
The most annoying thing about songwriting is….