After reaching TikTok virality with their single ‘You Wish’, the LA-based rap duo talk mythological creatures, performing with Megan thee Stallion, and a shared desire to champion their unapologetic Blackness
While it may have been fate that brought Bobbi LaNea and Folayan together at an LA music college, it’s their unapologetic need to champion Black girl weirdness that has brought them into the public eye. Having initially started making music separately, things quickly changed. “We didn’t know how to do it separately, and then we decided to join forces,” recalls LaNae. “We saw it in each other, so we were like, let’s do this together,” adds Folayan.
The rap duo are pushing the boundaries of contemporary hip hop with their raunchy and witty storytelling, and their breakout track “You Wish” has become one of this year’s definitive summer anthems, having Black girls everywhere declare they’re “made of sugar, spice, kanekalon, and cinnamon”.
At heart, the artists are “purely music lovers”, finding a wide range of inspirations from many different artists, ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Snarky Puppy and all the way to Britney Spears. Even now, the two found their group’s partial namesake from the singer Diana Ross – bringing it together with ‘Fly’ and ‘Boss’, and rhyming it, to get Flyana Boss.
For the past two years, the duo have spent their time building up their URL presence and mastering the inner workings of TikTok, with the aid of filmmaker Eric Bam. Following their viral hit TikTok – which features the girls running through supermarket aisles, dubbed the “Flyana Boss Challenge” – they have now found themselves uplifted by prolific artists such as Missy Elliot and actress Lupita Nyong’o. More recently, the group found themselves on stage with resident hot girl Megan thee Stallion during this year’s 2023 Essence Fest, in their first performance outside of Los Angeles.
Reminding us that everything’s better in twos, their latest release Make it Double is a two-track record, perfectly showcasing the pair’s versatility, moving between the City Girl–esque rap of “You Wish” to the more pop-infused vocals of “Trashboi”, which recalls old school 90s and early 2000s girl groups such as TLC. Below, we speak to the pair about mythological creatures, performing with Megan thee Stallion, and a shared desire to champion their unapologetic Blackness.
@flyanaboss Replying to @bonekandi comment where we should run next 😂 💕💜 #flyanaboss #evanblummadeit ♬ You Wish – Flyana Boss
How did the initial creation of Flyana Boss come about?
Folayan: We both just loved each other.
Bobbi LaNea: Yeah. And we both were doing music separately. And then we decided to join forces.
Your music is so lyrically fun and witty, you can really see that you’re pulling from many different areas. So, what’s that writing process look like for you both?
Folayan: We like to just shout out random crazy things at each other over and over.
Bobbi LaNea: And see what we both think is dope – and if we both think it’s dope, it’s probably dope. So we write it down, and say that’s going in the song. We used to write separately a lot. Especially during the pandemic, we would get tight beats and record voice memos back and forth to each other. But now we mainly only write together in the studio.
Your use of social media (especially TikTok) is so wholesome and wildly impressive. What is the process behind that? How do you usually curate the content that you do?
Folayan: So it started off two years ago: we said we were going to dedicate ourselves to just posting every day on TikTok because COVID really did put a damper on our live performances, which we love to do more than anything else. So then from there, music started getting better.
Bobbi LaNea: Yeah, and then our visuals started getting better. Even just figuring out how to use TikTok filters and trending sounds, we got more into the app itself.
Folayan: And then we met this wild, amazing creative man named Evan Blum, and it changed our lives.
The colourful braids, the elves, the bold accessories are a very unapologetic glimpse into the weird Black girl aesthetic. Who are your style inspirations?
Folayan: Just every Black woman ever!
Bobbi LaNea: Yeah. Our moms, older cousins, Black women on the street.
Folayan: Our Aunties.
Bobbi LaNea: Yeah, [and] all the natural hairstyles. Afros. Braids. Twists. All the classic photos and hairstyles we love.
Folayan: We just get into it.
Bobbi LaNea: Yeah, we’re a hodgepodge of everything we’ve ever enjoyed.
What would your ghost outfit (and hairstyle) be?
Bobbi LaNea: Oh, I would want a mermaid dress, with a cinched-in waist, frills and tinsel. I really would love to die in something like that.
Folayan: I think mine would be like a really huge short skirt that flares out. [My] titties out. Two mega pigtails that scare people, bigger than ever.
Bobbi LaNea: Maybe I have some finger waves.
Folayan: Oh that would be cute.
If you could listen to only one song for the rest of your life. What would it be?
Folayan: Mine might be “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean.
Bobbi LaNea: Mine would probably be this Marvin Gaye song called “God Is Love” – any time I’m feeling bad, or feeling like it’s the end of the world, I play that song over and over and over and over again.
If you could be any mythical creature, what would you be?
Folayan: An elf. A fairy. A fairy elf!
Bobbi LaNea: I guess, I’m going to have to go with mermaid.
If you could be any iconic TV or Film character duo, who would it be?
Bobbi LaNea: There are so many. The one I think of right now is Kenan and Kel.