Rap Duo Flyana Boss on Viral Success and Manifesting Another Missy Elliott Collab

Rap Duo Flyana Boss on Viral Success and Manifesting Another Missy Elliott Collab

Four years ago — before Flyana Boss were running across our TikTok FYPs with their viral hit “You Wish” and rapping about “sugar, spice, Kanekalon, and cinnamon” — the formidable duo were just two ordinary besties living in Los Angeles. But Bobbi LaNea and Folayan, hailing from Detroit and Dallas, respectively, knew they were “a match made in heaven” from the moment they met at LA music college Musicians Institute. “We just loved each other,” LaNea tells POPSUGAR. “We thought each other were funny and talented and we’re like, ‘Oh, this is so cute.'”

After realizing they were bonded by more than just music, Flyana Boss decided to take their friendship to the next level and declared themselves the next big act to run the music game.

“Now, we do everything together,” Folayan says. This includes molding their imaginative “Flyana Boss universe,” which has skyrocketed in more ways than one.

Before the colorful MCs became Flyana Boss (their stage name is inspired by Diana Ross), LaNea and Folayan were busy with odd jobs — working at Chipotle and weed dispensaries, braiding hair — and individual music projects. But their solo endeavors eventually inspired the two to team up and start recording songs together. Folayan explains, “Bobbi showed me some of her songs ’cause she had a project that she was putting together, and I was like, ‘Maybe we could do this together, this is so cool. We should do fun music and be besties.'” LaNea agrees the proposal “was a great idea” and adds she “always admired” Folayan’s talent: “Her songs have always been fire ever since I met her.” The rest seemed to flow naturally for the rap duo.

“Our usual go-to when we’re creating is we try random things.”

Two months after they started making music, Flyana Boss’s management team discovered them at an ASCAP event. Then, two years later, they got signed to a joint venture under Atlantic Records. But the time in between was trial-and-error for the two, who committed to being full-time content creators and artists. “We were set on posting every day ’cause something clicked for us like, ‘We have to get our music heard and it’s only going to get heard by us posting on social media as much as we can,'” LaNea explains. “So if we weren’t recording or writing or performing, we were making content.”

By a twist of fate, Flyana Boss struck gold this year when they stumbled upon a genius way to market their biggest song to date: TikTok running videos. It started with the two teasing the June 16 release of “You Wish” back in late May, rapping the song’s first verse while jogging through the streets of LA. According to LaNea, “We had a release date from our team but we wanted that release date to be sooner.” So they, along with their athletic videographer Evan Blum, came up with an impromptu marketing plan.

Folayan explains, “Our usual go-to when we’re creating is we try random things, and the running thing was just another random idea that was inside of all of those other ideas.” As a result, the “cute-girl-rap” duo amassed millions of views with their first few “You Wish” TikToks. However, one video posted in mid-June, featuring their infectious second verse — “Hello, Christ? I’m ’bout to sin again . . .” — was the game-changer that sent their internet fame into overdrive.

LaNea says, “As soon as we posted that second verse, life changed.” Their running trend took off from there.

It didn’t take long for Flyana Boss’s enthusiastic fanbase to get involved. “Our fans started commenting like, ‘Go here next,'” Folayan explains. This led to more running TikToks that had the two sprinting everywhere, from New York City’s Times Square to Disneyland and Essence Fest. Their popular trend even manifested collaborations with TikTok, Google, and other brands, thanks to LaNea’s famous line: “I be Michael Phelps, all the brand deals that I’m swimmin’ in.”

Their latest deal, they say, is a full-circle moment, as they dropped their highly anticipated “You Wish” music video with DoorDash on Sept. 13. According to the duo, the partnership was a “very natural” choice considering they unofficially promoted the brand in one of their first “You Wish” TikToks.

click to play video

“I think us saying that Michael Phelps line in the song really lends itself to all these brand deals.”

“The first time we posted the ‘Hello, Christ?’ verse, we had these DoorDash bikes and it was just hard to cover the signage,” LaNea recalls. The pair posted the TikTok anyway but told their followers, “We are not sponsored by DoorDash.” However, the brand hopped into their comments and clarified, “…. yet 😘.” Fast forward three months, the duo can officially say they’re in business with DoorDash.

“I think us saying that Michael Phelps line in the song really lends itself to all these brand deals,” LaNea notes, while Folayan adds that it’s cool to see their fans are “very invested in our manifestation.”

“It doesn’t make us look too commercial,” she says. “It’s just a part of us.”

YouTube | Flyana Boss

Flyana Boss credits TikTok for their newfound success and says they are “grateful to [the platform] for showing us to a wide audience.” But the duo are also confident they would’ve “figured out something else” with or without the app’s help. “We would’ve worked in any era,” LaNea declares. “If it was the music video, MTV era, that would’ve been us. If it was just radio, we would’ve figured it out, ’cause we were determined.”

Flyana Boss says they still have plenty of sprinting videos that they may or may not post. However, it’s clear they want to be more than just the “running girls from TikTok.” Their discography — which includes 2023’s “hello christ? I’m bout to sin again” EP and handful of singles — is proof of that. For now, though, their focus remains on “You Wish,” plus the song’s newly-released remix featuring Missy Elliott and Kaliii.

According to the pair, the remix is their idea of “old school meets the new school,” “ushering us into this beautiful realm” which they say started with Elliott’s impact. As for getting the 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee to hop on the track, it began with Elliott’s genuine support of Flyana Boss, which included defending their running videos from online haters. The duo say, “She messaged us like, ‘I love your uniqueness,'” which planted the seed for their eventual collaboration. Folayan shares, “We were dead set like, ‘We need to get Missy,'” while LaNea adds, “That’s all we talked about to our team until we got [her].”

“Hopefully, we’ll have a long history with Missy.”

Elliott continues to show love toward Flyana Boss. Just one day before speaking to POPSUGAR, the music icon praised them again on Twitter. Elliott wrote, “I worked with these young Ladies because they reminded me of myself some may think weird but they being UNIQUELY THEMSELVES & no every1 won’t understand when you not following the masses So I commend them for doing them & their music bang 4 real tho🔥🏃🏾‍♀️🏃🏾‍♀️🔥.”

The pair share the same affinity for their idol, too. “We love her,” LaNea gushes. “There’s nothing but encouragement we’ve received from her. It’s our wildest dream to even have her say our name, let alone in a song of ours, let alone all the DMs, the tweets, the responses. It’s unbelievable. Hopefully, we’ll have a long history with Missy.”

Flyana Boss say they hope to one day collaborate with Elliott again, next time for an EP: “We would love to build more on the Missy world.” She’s not the only star they want to team up with, though. The pair are also manifesting a “long list” of collaborations that includes Tierra Whack, Tyler, the Creator, T-Pain, 2 Chainz, and Nicki Minaj. “But I think we’ll leave it there for now,” LaNea quips.

Currently, Flyana Boss are on the road with Janelle Monáe for the “Age of Pleasure” tour, their first-ever tour that they say has been “a dream come true.” “She’s like the consummate performer. We’ve learned so much from her. To do a tour to this level, we want to do that as well,” says LaNea, once again, manifesting their future — which she hopes also includes a “semi-autobiographical” TV show (like “Dave” and “Atlanta”) and several other projects that “build upon different worlds that live in a Flyana Boss universe.”

Looking ahead, the duo are keeping one mission top of mind: representing the “untapped market” of “quirky Black girls,” a label they proudly wear.

“The amount of girls who are like us that come up to us is astonishing, and it feels like a voice that hasn’t been tapped in, especially for a long time. I think Missy may have been the last voice like that,” LaNea shares. “It means a lot to us that we’re just not a monolith, that Black women are so many things, so we want to represent that.”

As Folayan notes, “There are so many weird Black girls out there doing their thing. We want to take it mainstream.”

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