Fly Union Kicks Off The First Edition of DX's "Underground Spotlight."
Each Saturday, HipHopDX will showcase between one and three videos from artists that may not be on your radar as part of our "Underground Spotlight." First up: Columbus Ohio's Fly Union.
It’s fun as hell to live vicariously through a mainstream rapper even if you don’t like them. If you’ve ever had the luxury of even briefly doing some of the things Jay-Z rhymes about, you can’t deny that drinking top-notch champagne and being in a car that costs more than most people’s houses is a great experience. At least it is until you go back to your Camry and drinking Heinekens. Even if you’re hovering around $46,000 per year—which nearly half of us are according to the last US census, what’s wrong with documenting the experience?
Columbus, Ohio natives, Fly Union did just that during a routine run to the local pizza spot for a slice and some Faygo pop. Their chill session became their latest video, “Feels Good.”
“It was real impromptu, because we were literally just chillin’,” group member Iye explained. “I usually roll with the camera in my bag, and cats were like, ‘Oh you’ve got the camera? Let’s shoot something in here.’”
That hands-on approach manifests itself in everything that Iye, Jerreau and Swifaa do musically. The trio serves as their own producers, A&R men and executives, and they also run the Fly Union blog, Tumblr and Twitter feed. The mix of high and low culture along with large and sometimes non-existent budgets is no coincidence. It’s part of their “The Greater Than Club” philosophy, which had admittedly superficial beginnings.
“Look it’s the greater than club / If she ain’t eight or greater no autographs or hugs,” Jerreau rhymed on the Big Sean collaboration, “Poe’d Up.”
“Since then, people grabbed on to it and made it their own by tagging it,” Jerreau added. “But we wanted it to be more than the shallow way it’s referenced in the song, so we took it upon ourselves to say, ‘This is something bigger. It’s about aspiring to be great, whether it’s at school, work or even the females you talk to.’”
Count Miami Heat forward LeBron James among those impressed. The Akron, Ohio native took it upon himself to shout out Fly Union after a morning workout during which we can only assume he was aspiring for greatness himself.
to Fly Union #TGTC. Great way to start this beautiful day up
After six free “Value Pack” releases, that showcased their individual talents along with their work with Chip Tha Ripper, Dom Kennedy, Big Sean and others, Fly Union is preparing a full release entitled, what else, The Greater Than Club. If you’re an All NBA player making $14.5 million per year, you can grab a retail copy on iTunes when it drops April 26. But even if you’re struggling to grab a slice of pizza and keep some gas in that Camry, there’s still hope.
“It’s both free download and retail,” Iye explained. “When people get into our music heavy, they’ll see that we touch at everything. We like to have fun, but there’s some social commentary to what we talk about. We may not do a whole song about how terrible the government is, but we know how to touch on it in a song and bring that back to what we did the next day. It’s important to find a balance.”
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