words by Chance Solem-Pfeifer | photo by Molly Misek
The song “Dreams,” which premiered earlier this week on HN Radio, is from Black’s and Yates’ forthcoming collaborative EP, Flamboyant Gods. Over Yates’ (slightly slowed) sample of Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life,” the prolific young worker (Yates) and one of the founding father’s of Omaha hip-hop (Black) explain what comes to mind when Stevie blurts out “… make my dreams come true!” time and again.
Yates goes first, determined to lyrically justify his music, his artist’s life. Mars Black, in turn, is focused on a woman, a date, an ideal moment of clarity in a relationship. Even the sensual verse describing a brunch going well is a marker Black’s longevity within hip-hop. After his pair of Team Love records, touring with Bright Eyes, having been around Omaha rap for two decades, certain topics don’t make put him on edge as they once did.
“I have never really touched too much on my relationships with women on my projects in the past,” Black says. “I have been doing music for awhile, so there are some things I have gotten out of my system. I like women and they like me and I don’t think the women [who] like hip-hop or hang with rappers are represented in most songs you hear. So I just rap about the women I deal with and like to be around.”
Yates and Black previously worked together as part of the now-defunct Omaha hip-hop supergroup Angel Gang. Black said he was initially very impressed by Yates’ The MisEducated Scholar. An invitation to collaborate just as a pair was an easy proposition.
“Yates creates on a crazy level as far as volume and quality,” Black says. “I think we sound real good together on a track and my spit loves his beats, so that’s my ace for sure. I will do music with him as long as he is down to do it with me.”
As for Flamboyant Gods and its non-surreptitious name, Black says he’d been pondering the role of emcees and rappers in urban culture, and how their deeply influential place might go unrecognized by outsiders.
“… Rap artists are kind of like super heroes or gods of a street mythology in a way,” Black says. “How they set trends, cats recite their lyrics like holy scripture.”
There’s currently no release date for Flamboyant Gods, but Black says they’re shooting for the end of July. Listen to “Dreams” below.