Close this search box.

Flyana Boss Soar Above The Competition

The LA-based hip-hop duo are bringing genuine friendship and camaraderie back to the genre by blending old-school styles with a modern-day aesthetic. 

by Ben Boddez

Photos by SJ Spreng

There’s a kind of divine synergy that one might experience when realizing they’ve met someone who could be developing into a best friend for life. You might start finishing each other’s sentences, hyping each other up in your most outlandish adventures, and gradually begin melding into two parts of the same whole. For this reason, it’s clear that one of the best – or at least, the most exciting – ways to exercise a lasting bestie-ship is in a music setting.

Outside of Run the Jewels and still-touring legacy acts like Method Man & Redman or Salt-n-Pepa, the kind of genuine camaraderie, onstage silliness, and friendly back-and-forth competition that could only come from a duo who are best friends in real life has been harder to find in today’s modern hip-hop landscape. You see it in OutKast, Mobb Deep, Eric B & Rakim – underneath it all, their music is so much fun because they’re friends in real life. For LA-based duo Flyana Boss – which, yes, intentionally rhymes with Diana Ross – that spirit manifests itself in a combination of their love for pixie-esque visuals, the humour of 90s hip-hop stars, and X-rated food puns.

“Probably the first time we sat down and made a song together, we were like, ‘Yeah, this is going to work out’,” says Folayan, one-half of the duo that introduced themselves to TikTok audiences as “the besties” first and foremost. Bobbi LaNea, the other half, adds “Before the music, we would go places together and people would gravitate towards us as a duo, so we knew there was an energy.”

When it comes to the elements that make up a good hip-hop duo, LaNea says “you need to have a good amount of being similar and a good amount of different from each other, and you have to first and foremost put your friendship first,” Folayan, awash in giggles sitting next to LaNea, adding that “you both need to be able to have the same star power energy, and when they both collide, there’s this huge outburst!”



The outburst that Flyana Boss has created seems simultaneously like it was destiny created through difficult odds, and yet has quite a few elements of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hailing from cities approximately a thousand miles apart – LaNea from Detroit and Folayan from Dallas – the two met while attending the Musicians Institute school in Los Angeles, a place where they much preferred hanging out together instead of attending classes.

In fact, LaNea and Folayan have spoken about wishing they met each other earlier, so as to start tackling the master plans to achieve fame that both of them devised separately while developing a love for performing, staging shows set to the same song – Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” – for their families as young children.

When they did, after a couple tracks that went, in Folayan’s words, “baby viral,” they finally appeared on For You pages across the nation when their track “You Wish” exploded on TikTok, accompanied by countless videos of the duo rapping the song while running at full speed through notable locations. To add to the list of fortuitous coincidences, their videographer, Evan Blum, was an athletic lacrosse star in college – meaning he was able to capture the videos’ distinct style – which perplexed many viewers as to how it was filmed – by simply running even faster ahead of them.

“I used to watch a lot of entertainment biographies, so I would just try to do what they did,” says LaNea. “I had to move to LA or New York or somewhere. LA is kind of crazy so I feel like I lost track, but I got back on track with Flyana Boss. Many routes could have been taken, but we just took one step at a time.” “LA has always been that place of dreams, so I wanted to move here ever since I was little,” Folayan adds.

The track “You Wish” finds LaNea’s fiery verse kicking off with the line “I be Michael Phelps, all these brand deals that I’m swimming in,” a lyric that she admits was recorded when she didn’t have any at all. As the wheels of the prophecy continued to turn, the track soon found itself with a DoorDash branded music video, and they continued to pile up – when you Google Flyana Boss, there’s even a cartoon of two running women traversing the screen. With the duo’s big dreams to create a TV show about their friendship, design a clothing line called Bestie Apparel intended for complementary outfits with your friend, score a Billboard number one and play the Super Bowl, at this point, it’s hard to believe that they won’t happen.

Although Flyana Boss’ look – bright colours, alternative fashion styles, fairy wings and elf ears – seems designed for a modern-day, TikTok-ready, Gen-Z aesthetic, the duo really know their hip-hop history. Crediting Missy Elliott as one of their biggest inspirations – “she was weird, she was avant-garde, she was sexy, she owned her own sexuality, she was unapologetic. She would say silly bars, but still be the dopest person,” Folayan gushes – Missy actually famously came to their defense when the duo’s repetitive “You Wish” videos were criticized, eventually hopping on a remix. She called it an “old school tactic,” saying that “If you do a bunch of things, you confuse the audience. They don’t know who you are.”

Another legend played a big part in Flyana Boss lore as well – Folayan’s mother was a hairstylist who often found celebrities sitting in her chair, and Erykah Badu liked her services enough for Folayan to wind up calling Badu her god aunt. “She’s a style icon, she’s a music icon, and she’s hilarious. Everything about her has definitely rubbed off on me and my artistry,” Folayan says.

All of this is why the tracks populating their latest project, an EP fittingly titled This Ain’t The Album, feel like a product of the influence of old-school titans like Elliott and Badu, but modernized for a new, social-ready era. As the duo have emphasized, they want to be as empowering for “weird Black girls” as Elliott was for them. The weirdness that appears on the tracks is a combination of endearing bars that are just as simultaneously silly and dope, and a dose of 90s-inspired beats, old-school skills and back-and-forth moments. There’s even the classic technique of a hidden track. In fact, the duo’s timelessness even extends as far as keeping their ages a mystery – something that they’ve joked will be a big reveal saved for when they get on Oprah.



“Any marketing strategy we seem to be the masterminds of is just from watching and studying the industry for a long time. We are a culmination of the future and the past,” LaNea says, as Folayan adds “It’s all about the blend. We love the arts in general, so we’re not haters of older or newer generations, we believe that both need to be present to make beautiful art.”

If there was any doubt how studied in hip-hop history Flyana Boss are, when asked about whether they see their bubbly, fun-loving energy as an antidote of sorts to a hyper-competitive, ego-driven hip-hop landscape that has seen not one but two diss tracks hit the top of the Billboard charts this year, they’re quick to defend their necessity to hip-hop culture, Folayan shouting out early female MC Roxanne Shante as part of their genesis. “We’re bringing in something a little fresher, but both can exist at the same time, and should,” she says.

Contrary to their energetic personae, Flyana Boss would actually call themselves introverts, their on-stage antics partially representing the extremes of their real-life friendship coming out and partially representing characters that the duo step into. Their elaborate costumes, the most recent of which being fairy-inspired and flower-adorned greens for what they called their Bosstanical Garden Tour, play a big role in letting their inner selves out. By the way, Folayan shouts out Etsy boutique store Love Love Creations for the source of her classic elf ears.

“Sometimes, just a day in the life, we’ll dress up just for the hell of it to display our creativity, and that translates to the stage as well. We don’t worry about fashion trends too much, we just do whatever we want to do,” LaNea says. “We love a good theme, and [on tour] we were like two garden fairies. It was movable, it was breathable, and it just looked adorable,” Folayan adds. When asked about what she’d buy first on a limited budget, she says “I don’t even know. We’re very whimsical. We’re like butterflies, we just go and then land on something,” as her bestie chimes in with “it would just have to stand out.”

Speaking of standing out, Flyana Boss would be doing it even more if they had their way. They’ve spoken about their writing process mostly consisting of sitting around, trying to make each other laugh in the studio by one-upping each other with ridiculous lyrics – most of which make it into the final cut. However, there are even weirder ideas sitting in the vault.

“I think because we’re still developing artists, we need that big hit and then we’ll be able to put out all of the weird stuff. We had a song about our periods,” Folayan says, sending her other half into a fit of laughter. “We wanted that one to come out, we really did. It was called ‘Tarantino.’ We teased it on TikTok a long, long time ago. I’m always down to display all of our cool weirdness, but we have a whole team of people who were like ‘Hmm, maybe not that one.’”

Just like their studio sessions, the members of Flyana Boss are essentially just going to continue to get more and more outlandish, pushing themselves further and further into the delightfully bizarre, if we let them. But like their lengthy list of plans, they’ve probably already decided that we will.