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Six Degrees of Flying Lotus

 A guide to the genre-bending musician and his famous friends.

Flying Lotus.

(1 of 5)

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

Photo: Flavien Prioreau

(2 of 6) 


Kamasi Wahington.

Photo: Mike Park

(3 of 6)


Erykah Badu.


(4 of 6)


Kendrick Lamar.

Photo: Via Twitter

(5 of 6)


Herbie Hancock

Photo: Douglas Kirkland

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Even if the name Flying Lotus—or FlyLo, or Captain Murphy, as he’s sometimes known—doesn’t mean anything to you, the likelihood is that you’re already a fan of Steven Ellison, the hip-hop-meets-fusion-jazz-meets-electronic musician and producer. Or at least you’re a fan of fans of his. Consider his star-studded roster of coconspirators. Sept. 15–16, Fox Theater, Oakland

Thom Yorke: The Radiohead frontman has been a frequent guest on Flying Lotus tracks, including “Electric Candyman” and “And the Whole World Laughs with You.”

Kamasi Washington: The acclaimed jazz saxophonist put out his massive three-part album, The Epic, on FlyLo’s indie label, Brainfeeder, and has contributed to numerous Flying Lotus albums.

Erykah Badu: The intergalactic neosoul crooner provided vocals to the track “See Thru to U” on Flying Lotus’s 2012 album, Until the Quiet Comes.

Kendrick Lamar: Ellison produced the leadoff track on fellow L.A. MC Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly, and the two also joined forces on the 2014 track “Never Catch Me.”

Herbie Hancock: The 76-year-old jazz legend laid down keys for the Flying Lotus track “Moment of Hesitation” on You’re Dead!, and the two have been working with labelmate Thundercat on new material.


Originally published in the September issue of San Francisco 

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