photo Mike Machian
The cover of Social Studies depicts Marcy Yates standing on the edge of a building, gazing at the Omaha skyline.
The effect of the look and the way the Omaha emcee is standing is two-fold. With his backpack and hoodie on, there’s a sense that he’s the quiet kid in the corner of a city, of its noises, of its rules. He’s observing everything, taking it in quietly.
The other side of the coin, the unmistakable resonance is that Marcey Yates looks like a superhero without the cape. He looks something like a silent protector. And on the record and its recently released companion album, Vanilla Sky, he tells you of what: the integrity of the music he loves and the dignity of his peers, perhaps most notably women.
When he wrote about the albums last month, Hear Nebraska’s Kekeli Dawes praised the double albums for their lack of grandstanding. And that’s the fundamental way in which Marcey Yates (aka Op2mus), who is both the producer and lyricist on these records, is not a super hero.
Vanilla Sky and Social Studies are largely records which vulnerably, and sometimes even tenderly, exhibit Yates as a person and artist who engages in relationships and the full spectrum of emotions you might expect to follow. Under the banner titling of Vanilla Sky on that album cover is a chain of words: Love, Hate, Dreams, Life, Work, Play, Friendship, Sex.
These elemental pieces of life are centerpiece to his humanistic kind of hip-hop. You can see him June 27 at The Sydney, but right now Marcey Yates joins us live on Hear Nebraska FM.