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Noname (rapper)

Fatimah Nyeema Warner (born September 18, 1991), better known by her stage name Noname, is an American rapper and poet. Warner is from the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, where she began rapping and performing slam poetry in 2010.[1] In 2013, she gained wider recognition following her appearance on the track "Lost" from Chance the Rapper's popular mixtape Acid Rap.[2]

Noname – splash! Festival 20 (2017).jpg
Noname performing in 2017
Background information
Birth nameFatimah Nyeema Warner
Also known asNoname Gypsy
Born (1991-09-18) September 18, 1991 (age 27)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
GenresHip hop, jazz rap, neo soul
  • Rapper
  • poet
Years active2010–present
Associated acts

Noname released her debut mixtape, Telefone, on July 31, 2016, to widespread critical acclaim.[3][4][5] Her debut album, Room 25, was released on September 14, 2018; it also received universal acclaim.[6]


Early lifeEdit

Noname grew up in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. She was raised by her grandparents; as a teenager, she listened to blues musicians Buddy Guy and Howlin' Wolf,[1] and spent time in her mother's bookstore.[7] She first started writing poetry after taking a creative writing class in high school.[8] As a teen, she spent time in the YOUMedia project—a space for young artists to create and network—then based in the Harold Washington Library. There, she befriended many local talents, including Chance the Rapper.


2010–2015: Early worksEdit

Noname's interest in poetry led her to compete in local open mics and slam poetry competitions; she placed third in Chicago's annual Louder than a Bomb competition. Noname gradually turned her talents to freestyle rapping with friends, collaborating with many local Chicago artists including Chance the Rapper, Saba, Mick Jenkins, and Ramaj Eroc.

In 2013, she appeared on Chance the Rapper's second mixtape, Acid Rap, contributing a verse to the track "Lost".[9] She later contributed a verse for the song "Finish Line/Drown" from his 2016 mixtape Coloring Book. On December 18, 2016, she appeared with Chance the Rapper on Saturday Night Live.[10] She announced her first tour on November 13, 2016.

In 2014, she was featured on Mick Jenkins' mixtape The Water[s], contributing to the track Comfortable.[11] In 2015, she was featured on multiple tracks from Kirk Knight's album Late Knight Special.

2016–2017: TelefoneEdit

Noname initially used the stage name "Noname Gypsy", which she chose as a teenager when she was transitioning from poetry to music, believing that "gypsies were very nomadic, just not about staying in one space for a long time" On March 18, 2016, she officially dropped the "Gypsy" half of the name after her cousin Ishmael Robinson informed her of its racial connotation. She announced her name change on Twitter,[12] claiming she was unaware of the negative connotations of the term "gypsy" and did not want to offend Romani people.[13] In a 2016 interview with The Fader, she explained her current stage name, following the change:

Noname on her Telefone tour in 2017

I try to exist without binding myself to labels. I’m not really into labels at all, even the way I dress; I usually don’t wear anything with a name brand. For me, not having a name expands my creativity. I’m able to do anything. Noname could potentially be a nurse, Noname could be a screenwriter. I’m not limited to any one category of art or other existence, on a more existential level.[14]

Noname released her first mixtape, Telefone, on July 31, 2016, which she spent three years producing.[15] Telefone was Noname's way of introducing herself to the world through songs presented as open ended telephone conversations.[16] The album is centered around important telephone conversations that Noname has had over the years.[16] Her rap speaks of black women's pain and also highlights the struggles of growing up in Chicago.[16] The album was originally released as a free download on; it was later released on vinyl in September 2017.[17]

Telefone received overwhelmingly positive reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone dubbed it one of 2016's "most thought-provoking hip-hop."[3] Stereogum wrote that on Noname possessed "a potency and urgency in her complicated, spoken word-esque cadences and subdued delivery that escapes many of her more animated peers."[4] Consequence of Sound concluded that "the louder her music is played, the brighter her cadence glows, giving her lyrics a type of 3D craft that makes Telefone a diary of lessons too relevant to keep to yourself."[5]

In October 2016, Noname and fellow Chicago native Saba collaborated to produce “Church/Liquor Store”, a song that explores the Westside of Chicago where liquor stores sit directly next to places of worship.[18] Noname critiques the gentrification of the neighborhood and the erasure of crime believed to accompany it.[18]

Noname performed a NPR Tiny Desk Concert on April 3, 2017.[19]

2018–present: Room 25Edit

In August 2018 Noname announced on Twitter that her second album, Room 25, will be released in fall 2018.[20] Recorded in about a month's time, the album chronicles the two years since the release of Telefone, most notably her move from Chicago to Los Angeles and an intense, short-lived relationship.[21]

On the experience, she compared her maturity on Room 25 to Telefone, saying "Telefone was a very PG record because I was very PG. I just hadn't had sex."[22] Unlike Telefone, Room 25 was created due to a financial obligation. Noname said in an interview, "It came to a point where it was, like, I needed to make an album because I need to pay my rent. I could've done another Telefone tour, but I can't play those songs anymore. Like, I could, but I physically hate it because I've just been playing them for so long."[22] Noname paid for the entire album herself using money from touring and guest appearances on Chance the Rapper projects.[22]

The album was released on September 14, 2018; upon release, it received universal acclaim from music critics.[6] El Hunt of NME described the album as "flawless", adding that it is "smartly constructed and laced with intricate subtlety." Rolling Stone declared Noname as "One of the Best Rappers Alive" and included her on a list of "Artists You Need to Know".[23] Briana Younger of Pitchfork designated Room 25 as "Best New Music" and wrote that it is "a transcendent coming-of-age tale built around cosmic jazz and neo-soul, delivered by a woman deeply invested in her interiority and that of the world around her." M. Oliver of PopMatters proclaimed the album to be "vintage neo-soul and future rap hand in hand; a soulful sanctuary for those turned off by the austerity of mainstream mumble rap". She performed a three song medley of "Blaxploitation," "Prayer Song," and "Don't Forget About Me" from the album in her solo television debut on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on October 17, 2018.[24]


Musically and stylistically, Noname has credited Avril Lavigne,[25] Nina Simone, Andre 3000, Kanye West, and Missy Elliott as her influences.[2] She cites the author Toni Morrison and poet Patricia Smith as notable influences on her writing style.[26]


Studio albumsEdit

List of studio albums, with selected details
Title Album details
Room 25


List of mixtapes, with selected details
Title Album details
  • Released: July 31, 2016
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download, vinyl

Guest appearancesEdit

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Artist(s) Album
"The Truth" 2013 Mick Jenkins Trees & Truths
"Lost" Chance the Rapper Acid Rap
"All Love" 2014 C-Sick, Taylor Bennett, Nick Astro La Collection
"Comfortable" Mick Jenkins The Water[s]
"Future Plans Pt. III" Woo Park Smokes
"Warm Enough" 2015 Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiement, J. Cole Surf
"Israel (Sparring)" Chance the Rapper N/A
"Last Dance" Chance the Rapper, Lil B Free (Based Freestyles Mixtape)
"Dead Friends" Kirk Knight, Thundercat Late Knight Special
"I Had Music" 2016 Mont Jake Shadow
"Finish Line / Drown" Chance the Rapper, T-Pain, Kirk Franklin, Eryn Allen Kane Coloring Book
"Only the Beginning" theMIND Summer Camp
"VRY BLK" Jamila Woods HEAVN
"Into You" Jesse Boykins III Bartholomew
"Angles" Mick Jenkins, Xavier Omär The Healing Component
"Church / Liquor Store" Saba Bucket List Project
"Counterfeit" Phoelix, Chelsea Reject, Saba Countdown 2 Midnight
"The Tragedy" Jeremih, Chance the Rapper Merry Christmas Lil' Mama
"Amphetamine" 2017 Smino blkswn
"Kale" Joseph Chilliams, Supa Bwe Henry Church


  1. ^ a b "Rising Chicago rapper was reared on Buddy Guy, not Tupac". MSNBC. 2015-02-27. Archived from the original on 2014-12-27. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
  2. ^ a b "10 New Artists You Need to Know Right Now". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  3. ^ a b "Review: Noname's 'Telefone' Is Truth-Telling Hip-Hop Sunshine". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  4. ^ a b "50 Best Albums of 2016". Stereogum. 2016-12-01. Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  5. ^ a b "Top 50 Albums of 2016". Consequence of Sound. 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  6. ^ a b Metacritic - Room 25 by Noname, retrieved 2018-09-24
  7. ^ Brown, Raaziq. "A CHICAGO POET FINDS HER HIP-HOP VOICE." Rolling Stone Oct 20 2016: 18. ProQuest. Web. 8 Oct. 2017
  8. ^ Eoin Butler. (2016). JAMILA WOODS ft. NONAME vry blk. Dublin, Ireland: The Irish Times Ltd.
  9. ^ "Noname Gypsy". General Admission. 2014-09-26. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
  10. ^ Swartz, Tracy, Chance the Rapper performs on final 'SNL' episode of 2016, Chicago Tribune, December 18, 2016 []
  11. ^ "Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]". Hiphopdx. 2014-08-22. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
  12. ^ "Noname on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  13. ^ Noname [@noname] (18 March 2016). "When i first decided what my stage name would be I was unaware of how racially inappropriate and offensive it was to Romani people" (Tweet). Retrieved September 25, 2017 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "Noname, Sincerely". The FADER. Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  15. ^ Kot, Greg. "Noname makes patience a virtue in her rise". Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  16. ^ a b c "Noname: Telefone Album Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  17. ^ "Noname's 'Telefone' getting first pressing through VMP". Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  18. ^ a b "They sold, they sold / They sold prison the way they pipeline". Genius. Retrieved 2017-10-03.
  19. ^ "Noname: Tiny Desk Concert". Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  20. ^ "Noname's new album 'Room 25' is out next month!". DIY. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  21. ^ Klinkenberg, Brendan (September 14, 2018). "Noname Is One of the Best Rappers Alive". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  22. ^ a b c Kameir, Rawiya (September 11, 2018). "Here comes Noname". The Fader. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  23. ^ Klinkenberg, Brendan (September 14, 2018). "Noname Is One of the Best Rappers Alive". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  24. ^ Minsker, Evan (October 18, 2018). "Watch Noname Perform Room 25 Medley on "Colbert"". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  25. ^ Herwees, Tasbeeh. "Exploring Avril Lavigne's Strange, Enduring Influence On Hip-Hop". Nylon. Retrieved 11 August 2018. Artist Noname, from Chicago, said there was a time where she listened to “nothing but Avril Lavigne.”
  26. ^ "Noname, Sincerely". The FADER. Retrieved 2018-07-13.

External linksEdit