Straight outta Unitas: Student rap group starts music career

By on November 17, 2016
Features

By Eiman Zuberi–

If you attended October’s Waka Flocka concert or November’s Lil Uzi Vert concert, chances are you heard the opening band, The Homies. Who are The Homies? Well, three of them could be your classmates. 

Chauncy (Ace Pro) Craighead, Dawoyne (2forwOyNE) Lawson, DaEndre (Shloob) Lawson, Marquis (Quiiso) Driver and Ronnie (Ronnie Lucciano) O’Bannon make up the group. 

They met in Unitas Hall freshmen year. “It used to go down in Unitas,” Lawson said.

Sharing an enthusiasm for making beats, they recently began rapping and performing. “We have evolved from just making beats,” Craighead said. “We all have a passion for music.”

Each member has a role within the band, but everyone does a bit of everything. From producing to writing lyrics, The Homies create everything in-house. While influenced by rappers like Travis Scott, they dabble in genres outside of rap. 

“It is a very evolving sound,” Craighead said. “It’s something you’re familiar with but something you can’t hold us to.” Their first song was “trash,” according to Lawson.

“You will never hear it,” Lawson said, laughing.

Growing in the local music scene excites them, as four of the group members are Louisville natives. “It points the magnifying glass on Louisville,” Craighead said. “There’s a lot of reasons to look at Louisville.”

All of their performances begin with O’Bannon, the DJ, getting the crowd in the mood.

“People don’t really understand the role of the DJ,” O’Bannon said. “Before they all come out, you [are] by yourself. You got to get 2,500 people excited to see the rest of your, you know, homies. You got to get them ready, energized. That’s not really an easy job.”

The other members appear on stage one by one. “Sometimes I get butterflies, especially since I’m the last one and everyone is waiting to see me,” Driver said. “But the experience of performing is fun. It’s not nerve-wracking at all.”

The rest agreed with Driver, saying the nerves go away once they begin performing.

I get really excited when the first song comes. I want to get out there,” Lawson said. “Being onstage is actually comfortable now. I look forward to it.”

Craighead said they landed roles through their “professional manner.”

“Pretty much the way the music scene works here is, the more you keep at it, more opportunities open up for themselves,” Craighead, who has been in the industry the longest, said. “Not only do we do our music, but we do it in a creative way that stands out from other people. That correlated to getting doors open and people contacting us.”

Their goal is to make the crowd as excited as they are. The energy of their shows is what makes them so successful. “We want to seem like we are having fun on stage. The more energy, the more the crowd is into it,” Lawson said.

The Homies will be with Jack Harlow on Nov. 23 at Headliners Music Hall. 

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