Noname (rapper)

Fatimah Nyeema Warner (born September 18, 1991), known professionally as Noname, is an American rapper, poet, and record producer from the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago.[1] She began rapping and performing slam poetry in 2010, and gained wider recognition in 2013 for her appearance on the track "Lost" from Chance the Rapper's mixtape, Acid Rap.[2]

Noname
Noname onstage smiling, holding a microphone
Noname in 2017
Background information
Birth nameFatimah Nyeema Warner
Born (1991-09-18) September 18, 1991 (age 28)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OriginBronzeville, Chicago
Genres
Occupation(s)
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2010–present
Associated acts
Websitenonameraps.bandcamp.com

Noname released her debut mixtape, Telefone, on July 31, 2016.[3][4][5] Her debut album, Room 25, was released on September 14, 2018. She is member of the trio Ghetto Sage, with Smino and Saba.[6]

Early lifeEdit

Noname grew up in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. She was raised by her grandparents until she was in middle school. When she returned to live with her mother, she had a new sibling and she and her mother did not get along. As a teenager, she listened to blues musicians Buddy Guy and Howlin' Wolf,[1] and spent time in her mother's bookstore.[7] She 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.[citation needed]

CareerEdit

2010–2015: Early worksEdit

Noname's interest in poetry led her to compete in local open mics and slam poetry competitions; she placed third place in Chicago's annual Louder Than a Bomb competition. Noname then started to freestyle rap with friends, collaborating with local Chicago artists including Chance the Rapper, Saba, Mick Jenkins, and Ramaj Eroc.[citation needed]

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

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

2016–2017: TelefoneEdit

 
Noname on her Telefone tour in 2017

Noname first used the stage name "Noname Gypsy", which she chose as a teenager when she was transitioning from poetry to music, believing "gypsies were very nomadic, just not about staying in one space for a long time". In March 2016, she removed "Gypsy" from her stage name after learning of its racial connotation,[12] saying 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:

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, after three years production.[15] Telefone was Noname's method of publicizing her new stage name, through songs presented as open-ended telephone conversations.[16] The album is centered around important telephone conversations that Noname has had.[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 Bandcamp, and then on vinyl in September 2017.[17]

Rolling Stone wrote it was one of 2016's "most thought-provoking hip-hop."[3] Stereogum wrote that 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 wrote 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 resident 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 in April 2017.[19]

2018–present: Room 25Edit

In August 2018, Noname announced that her second album, Room 25, would be released in the fall of 2018.[20] The album, which took approximately one month to record, chronicles the two years since the release of Telefone, during which she moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, and had a short romantic relationship.[21]

Noname 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. El Hunt of NME described the album as "flawless" and "smartly constructed and laced with intricate subtlety." Rolling Stone said Noname was "One of the best rappers alive" and included her on a list of "Artists You Need to Know".[21] 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." PopMatters said the album was "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.[23]

On May 15, 2019, Noname announced that her upcoming second studio album would be titled Factory Baby. In November of that year that she said she was quitting music, and expressed frustration with her predominantly white audience.[24][25] She went on to say that the demographics of her fanbase made her want to quit music: "I refuse to keep making music and putting it online for free for people who won’t support me. If y'all don't wanna leave the crib I feel it. I don't want to dance on a stage for white people."[24][26][27]

FeudsEdit

On June 18, 2020, two days after J. Cole had seemingly criticized her activism in his song "Snow on tha Bluff", Noname released the Madlib-produced "Song 33", in which she alluded to Cole writing about her when there's so much going on, rapping: "I guess the ego hurt now/It's time to go to work, wow, look at him go/He really 'bout to write about me when the world is in smokes? When there's people in trees? When George was beggin' for his mother sayin' he couldn't breathe? He thought to write about me?". The song also reflects on violence against black women, mainly the death of 19-year-old Black Lives Matter activist Oluwatoyin Salau. Cole acknowledged Noname's track shortly after its release, sharing a link to the song on Twitter.[28][29]

InfluencesEdit

Musically and stylistically, Noname has credited musicians Avril Lavigne,[30] Nina Simone, André 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.[31]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

List of studio albums, with selected details
Title Album details
Room 25
Factory Baby
  • Released: 2020[32]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download

MixtapeEdit

Title Album details
Telefone

SinglesEdit

Title Year
"Song 31"[33]
(featuring Phoelix)
2019
"Song 32"[34]
"Häagen Dazs"[35]
(as Ghetto Sage, with Saba and Smino)
"Song 33"[36] 2020

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
"Touchdown" John Walt Get Happy 2.0
"All Love" 2014 C-Sick, Taylor Bennett, Nick Astro La Collection
"Comfortable" Mick Jenkins The Water[s]
"Future Plans Pt. III" Woo Park Smokes
"The Truth" 2015 IKON, Saba, Malcolm London, Anthony Pavel Private Stock
"Warm Enough" 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
"For A Reason" 2018 Tennis Shoes Breakfast

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Maule, A. (February 27, 2015). "Rising Chicago rapper was reared on Buddy Guy, not Tupac". MSNBC. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "10 New Artists You Need to Know: September 2016". Rolling Stone. September 14, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Review: Noname's 'Telefone' Is Truth-Telling Hip-Hop Sunshine". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "50 Best Albums of 2016". Stereogum. December 1, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Top 50 Albums of 2016". Consequence of Sound. November 28, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  6. ^ Renshaw, D. (October 15, 2019). "Noname, Saba, and Smino form supergroup Ghetto Sage". Fader. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Brown, Raaziq (October 20, 2016). "A Chicago poet finds her hip-hop voice". Rolling Stone.
  8. ^ Eoin Butler. (2016). JAMILA WOODS ft. NONAME vry blk. Dublin, Ireland: The Irish Times Ltd.
  9. ^ "Noname Gypsy". General Admission. September 26, 2014. Archived from the original on March 25, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  10. ^ Swartz, Tracy (December 18, 2016). "Chance the Rapper performs on final 'SNL' episode of 2016". Chicago Tribune.
  11. ^ "Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]". Hiphopdx. August 22, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  12. ^ "Noname on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  13. ^ Noname [@noname] (March 18, 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 October 14, 2017.
  15. ^ Kot, Greg. "Noname makes patience a virtue in her rise". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  16. ^ a b c "Noname: Telefone Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  17. ^ "Noname's 'Telefone' getting first pressing through VMP". modern-vinyl.com. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "They sold, they sold / They sold prison the way they pipeline". Genius. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  19. ^ "Noname: Tiny Desk Concert". NPR.org. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "Noname's new album 'Room 25' is out next month!". DIY. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  21. ^ a b 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. ^ Minsker, Evan (October 18, 2018). "Watch Noname Perform Room 25 Medley on "Colbert"". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Graves, Wren (November 30, 2019). "Noname may quit music, says she won't perform for mostly white audiences". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  25. ^ "Noname says she may quit music: "I don't want to dance on a stage for white people"". NME. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  26. ^ "Noname Won't Keep Performing for Predominantly White Crowds". XXL. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  27. ^ "Noname Says She's No Longer Going To 'Dance On A Stage For White People'". HipHopDX. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  28. ^ Johnson, Patrick (June 18, 2020). "Chance The Rapper, Earl Sweatshirt, Jean Grae and More Criticize J. Cole's "Snow On Tha Bluff"". Hypebeast. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  29. ^ "Noname Said What Needed to Be Said". Complex. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  30. ^ Herwees, Tasbeeh. "Exploring Avril Lavigne's Strange, Enduring Influence On Hip-Hop". Nylon. Retrieved August 11, 2018. Artist Noname, from Chicago, said there was a time where she listened to “nothing but Avril Lavigne.”
  31. ^ "Noname, Sincerely". The FADER. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  32. ^ Noname (November 4, 2019). "Noname on Twitter: "I don't really talk about my music much on here but I'm dropping an album 2020 if anybody's interested"". Twitter. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  33. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/song-31-feat-phoelix-single/1448279189
  34. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/song-32-single/1458433570
  35. ^ https://www.complex.com/music/2019/10/ghetto-sage-noname-saba-smino-haagen-dazs
  36. ^ Evan Minsker (June 18, 2020). "Listen to Noname's New "Song 33"". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 19, 2020.

External linksEdit