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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 Chicago since 2010.[1] In 2013, she gained wider recognition and critical acclaim 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 name Fatimah Nyeema Warner
Also known as Noname Gypsy
Born (1991-09-18) September 18, 1991 (age 26)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2010–present
Associated acts

Noname released her debut mixtape, Telefone, on July 31, 2016, to widespread critical acclaim.[3][4][5]


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,[6] 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, 2013, 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.


Name change, success with Telefone mixtapeEdit

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, claiming she was unaware of the negative connotations of the term "gypsy" and did not want to offend Romani people.[12] In a 2016 interview with The Fader, she explained her current stage name, following the change:

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.[13]

Noname released her first mixtape, Telefone, on July 31, 2016, which she spent three years producing.[14] Telefone was Noname's way of introducing herself to the world through songs presented as open ended telephone conversations.[15] The album is centered around important telephone conversations that Noname has had over the years.[15] Her rap speaks of black women's pain and also highlights the struggles of growing up in Chicago.[15] The album was originally released as a free download on; it was later released on vinyl in September 2017.[16]

Noname on her Telefone tour in 2017

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.[17] Noname critiques the gentrification of the neighborhood and the erasure of crime believed to accompany it.[17]

Noname performed a NPR Tiny Desk Concert on April 3, 2017.[18]


Musically and stylistically, Noname has credited Nina Simone, Andre 3000 and Missy Elliott as her influences.[2]



List of mixtapes, with selected details
Title Album details

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
"Comfortable" 2014 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
"Finish Line / Drown" 2016 Chance the Rapper, T-Pain, Kirk Franklin, Eryn Allen Kane Coloring Book
"Angles" Mick Jenkins, Xavier Omar The Healing Component
"Church / Liquor Store" Saba Bucket List Project
"The Tragedy" Jeremih, Chance the Rapper Merry Christmas Lil' Mama
"Amphetamine" 2017 Smino blkswn


  1. ^ "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. ^ "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. 
  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 [@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. 
  13. ^ "Noname, Sincerely". The FADER. Retrieved 2017-10-14. 
  14. ^ Kot, Greg. "Noname makes patience a virtue in her rise". Retrieved 2017-10-14. 
  15. ^ a b c "Noname: Telefone Album Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2017-01-05. 
  16. ^ "Noname's 'Telefone' getting first pressing through VMP". Retrieved 2017-10-14. 
  17. ^ a b "They sold, they sold / They sold prison the way they pipeline". Genius. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 
  18. ^ "Noname: Tiny Desk Concert". Retrieved 2017-09-21. 

External linksEdit