Chancellor Warhol (real name: Antonio Boleyjack) has become one of the more notable hip-hop exports in a town not necessarily known for hip hop: Nashville. The rapper and visual artist took his stage name based on his affinity for Andy Warhol; on Sat., Aug. 23, he plays The Andy Warhol Museum, in his first trip to his namesake's institution on the North Side. He spoke with CP about his music, art and inspiration.
Are you originally from Nashville?
No, I'm originally from Mars; I landed in 1983 ...
Yeah, this is getting really interesting, right? No, I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. It's not the biggest hip-hop scene, but it's pretty fun.
- Photo courtesy of Joshua Black Wilkins
- Rap collage artist: Chancellor Warhol
That's something I was going to ask about: Is there a budding scene there? Is there a history to hip hop there? It's obviously a city better known for country, and even rock.
I think it's evolved a lot. I've always been an outsider, because I grew up in a community of skateboarders, grew up on grunge and punk music, backpack rap. My upbringing is a little different from the normal hip-hop [background]. You incorporate that with a lot of the indie bands that came up on the scene before Paramore got big, Kings of Leon, bands like that — I incorporate more of that side of it than a mainstream hip-hop side of it. I definitely see myself as one of the torch-bearers of hip hop here.
A lot of rappers move to Atlanta or New York or wherever — why stick around Nashville? Are you comfortable there?
No, I'm never comfortable. I'm always traveling. I'm actually moving to L.A. in November for an extended amount of time. Most of my dealings are in L.A. and New York.
Why did you take the name Chancellor Warhol?
It's crazy that I'm even playing there; it's like playing the biggest venue in the world to me. Like performing at Madison Square. Warhol, to me, was an integral part of my development. I went to school for design, and when you think of art or pop culture, he's synonymous with that. So automatically, I drew toward that as a name for my music. All the culture that he left behind can still be seen today, touched by people who weren't even born during his era.