Fly.Union thinks they're a little misunderstood. "Everybody says, 'Oh, they bringing back the '80s.' Naw. I am just wearing pants that fit. It's not rocket science," said Jerreau, a dapper rapper from the hip-hop troupe.

Fly.Union thinks they're a little misunderstood.

"Everybody says, 'Oh, they bringing back the '80s.' Naw. I am just wearing pants that fit. It's not rocket science," said Jerreau, a dapper rapper from the hip-hop troupe.

Between his hugging jeans and the rest of the four-man squad's limited-edition sneakers, it's easy to see how they're a well-suited fit with so-called hipster rappers like Wale, Kid Sister and Uffie on the new Benzi/Mick Boogie mix CD Motivation, put out by Cali dance rag Urb.

It doesn't hurt that Fly.U shares management with Mick Boogie - you know, LeBron and Jigga's favorite DJ - which also explains the group's February date in Cleveland opening for le p?re of all that's voguish, Diplo.

But before proclaiming the crew the local version of Chi-Town's Cool Kids, you should know that they don't drink. Heck, they don't even curse.

Jerreau's rapping cohort L-to-Tha clarified the collective's imperative for clean living.

"I lost my best friend to murder here in Columbus," he said. "I lost my little cousin that was only 18 years old to murder. Jerreau's little cousin got shot 14 times. These are issues that are affecting us directly, so we have to be conscious with what we are putting out."

That would be crisp hip-hop. Fly.Union dropped a compilation last May called Kill Fly.U that showcased soulful, thumping production by JaySwifa and Eyeon. Both of these rappers' dads were in the '70s Columbus funk group Domination. Swifa's father also does the music for Rhema Christian Center, where most of Fly.U met their mentor, the late Daymon Dodson.

Fly.Union's lineage keeps going. As pee wees, two of the members were in Basic Element, which performed on bills with Columbus pioneers like Spirit and the Mhz.

In March, Fly.U plans to do a Columbus boutique tour. Milk Bar, Embassy, Sole Classics and Status will all host performances. This couture circuit will culminate with the release of the new album, You're Welcome.

Fly.U also claims the Mick Boogie affiliation has opened doors that are secret for now. Stay tuned.