Preview: Experimental hip-hop duo Bonelang to take their rising act to the M-Shop


Photo credit - Ross Gehm

Bonelang is an experimental hip-hop duo from Chicago consisting of Matt Bones and Samy.Language.

Maribel Barrera

The Chicago-based independent and experimental hip-hop duo Bonelang will take the stage of the Maintenance Shop on Friday evening.

The duo, consisting of rapper Samy.Language and producer-vocalist Matt Bones, has been producing music together since the age of 13. 

Bonelang has quickly established itself as a group to be watched, having accrued more than 15,000 followers across social media platforms and having generated more than 160,000 streams in just over a year.

The group’s name comes from a combination of the two members’ stage names — Samy.Language and Matt Bones.

“Bonelang was a quick and painless decision. We didn’t toy with any other names. That one felt singular to us and we were quickly married to it,” they said in a 2017 interview with All Access Music.

The group has been described by Leor Galil of the Chicago Reader as being reminiscent of pop-rock icon Queen. The duo itself cites the indie-rock band Brand New as one of its biggest influences when it comes to both sound and lyrics.

Bonelang has embraced the label of experimental, pulling influence and inspiration from a number of other songwriters and bands. In turn, the band has created a distinct and intentional sound that is all their own.

“We don’t make music with a goal as far as what genre we want the song to be when it’s finished. When we produce music, there’s no way to ignore the fact that we have diverse tastes and eclectic music diets. It’s always going to be sort of a mélange,” they said.

Their most recent project, a full-length album titled, “Sunny, Sonny.” was released in June of this year.

The independent duo is foraging its way into the mainstream with singles like “Anvil,” “Title Breathing” and “Yellow Teeth Da Di.”

The band released their debut two-part album “Venn Diagrams” as a part of a larger multi-piece project in 2017 after working on the project for more than three years, recording entirely within their home studio.

“Recording ‘Venn Diagrams’ in the home studio has shaped our process into a very meticulous mode of thinking and working,” they said. “Nothing that we put out is on accident. Everything has been done with the greatest intention and fleshed out in many stages. Bonelang cares deeply about your experience with our music.” 

Doors to the M-Shop will open at 7:30 p.m. and their performance will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for the general public or $8 with an ISU student ID until the day of the show, when there will be a $2 increase. Tickets can be purchased at the M-Shop box office in person or over the phone at 515-294-8349 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online via