Warren Hue burst onto a global stage last year when he signed to 88rising, making his solo debut with the bubbly single ‘Omomo Punk’. He finished an Indonesian power trio by joining Rich Brian and NIKI on the single ‘California’ – and afterward hopscotched across 88rising’s soundtrack for Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Hue is reserved and occupied also working diligently on his new collection ‘ ‘Boy Of The Year’. “There’s some personal moments on this album, and some sounds that I’ve never touched before this album,” the 20-year-old NME 100 member says when we finally nail him down for a Zoom call. “I’m in a very new space, and I feel like it’s visually going to go crazier than my older projects. I’m really honing into my sound… It should be unexpected.”
Warren Hue : Music life
Like thousands all over the world, Hue started making music in his bedroom. When he was 16, he rapped over the beat of Valee’s ‘Womp Womp’, stirring together references to WWE, Phineas and Ferb, luxury threads, the NBA and Iron Man and dropping it on SoundCloud (it was tagged “ASIAN SWAG”). He began releasing music under his gamertag, warrenisyellow, including 2019’s ‘Sugartown’, a joint project with Chasu that could share playlist space with Brockhampton and Aminé.
Warren hue collaborated with several Indonesian artists, but as an artist who was incubated online, Hue wasn’t first and foremost inspired by the Indonesian hip-hop scene. He does however heap praise on Kareem Soenharjo, who makes beats as Yosugi, raps as BAP. and leads the band BAPAK. When Hue found the 2016 Yosugi song ‘Messages’ on YouTube, it blew his teenage mind.
His latest two releases are Atarashii Gakko!’s ‘Freaks, and ‘omono punk.’
In the first video, Atarashii Gakko!’s ‘Freaks,’ Warren lends a guest verse to the song that sounds mighty familiar because it samples house music legend Claude VonStroke’s ‘Freaks Don’t Fail Me Now.’ In the Tarantino-inspired video, the schoolgirls of Atarashii Gakko! have a dance battle against aging sumo wrestlers in a junkyard that doubles as a sumo ring. As with most of their videos, the girls are the heroes and once Warren drops his verse, the sumo wrestlers are in trouble. Eventually, viewers are treated to the unseemingly sights of 150-kilogram men dancing in circles wearing only their loincloths, and basically acting like freaks.
In his second release of the week, Warren goes solo with ‘omono punk.’ This video is on the opposite end of the spectrum of ‘Freaks’ as it has a serious tone and really shows his depth as a rapper. Besides busting out a wide range of looks in various picturesque places, Warren rips the 170+ beats per minute [BPM] track effortlessly in Indonesian, and then when the beat slows into a syrup-speed of 85 BPM, he floats on it in English reminiscent of Kanye/Cudi/Kendrick making other characters with their voices within their verses.
If ‘Freaks’ and ‘opono punk’ are any indication of what’s to come from Warren Hue, it seems that 88rising has found another star for their label.