Noname (rapper)

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Noname
Noname – splash! Festival 20 (2017 crop).jpg
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
Websitenonamehiding.com

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 critically acclaimed mixtape, Acid Rap.[2]

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. She is one third of the supergroup Ghetto Sage, with Smino and Saba.[6]

Early life[edit]

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 mom, she had a new sibling and she and her mother had many problems with not getting 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 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.

Career[edit]

2010–2015: Early works[edit]

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 gradually turned her talents into 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" 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 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: Telefone[edit]

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 bandcamp.com; it was later released on vinyl in September 2017.[17]

Telefone has 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 25[edit]

In August 2018, Noname announced on Twitter that her second album, Room 25, would be released in the fall of 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. 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".[21] 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.[23]

On May 15, 2019, Noname announced that her upcoming second studio album will be titled Factory Baby.

Influences[edit]

Musically and stylistically, Noname has credited Avril Lavigne,[24] 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.[25]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected details
Title Album details
Room 25
Factory Baby
  • Released: 2020[26]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download

Mixtapes[edit]

List of mixtapes, with selected details
Title Album details
Telefone

Singles[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Song 31"[27]
(featuring Phoelix)
2019 Non-album singles
"Song 32"[28]
"Häagen Dazs"[29]
(as Ghetto Sage, with Saba and Smino)

Guest appearances[edit]

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

Awards and nominations[edit]

International Music Awards[edit]

Rolling Stone Germany's International Music Awards celebrate the best of music. Winners are selected by artists and experts. The first edition is set to take place in 2019.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2019 Herself Future Pending [30]

References[edit]

  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. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  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, Chance the Rapper performs on final 'SNL' episode of 2016, Chicago Tribune, December 18, 2016 [www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/ct-chance-the-rapper-snl-20161218-story.html]
  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. ^ 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.”
  25. ^ "Noname, Sincerely". The FADER. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/song-31-feat-phoelix-single/1448279189
  28. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/song-32-single/1458433570
  29. ^ https://www.complex.com/music/2019/10/ghetto-sage-noname-saba-smino-haagen-dazs
  30. ^ "SHORTLIST: DAS SIND DIE NOMINIERTEN DES IMA 2019". Rolling Stone Germany (in German). Retrieved May 19, 2019.

External links[edit]