Noname: An Upcoming Household Name
Written by Stephanie Onyejekwe on February 25, 2019
Noname, an upcoming household name, will be performing at White Oak Music Hall on Thursday, Feb. 28th.
The first time I heard of Noname was about three years ago on SoundCloud. She was known as Noname the Gypsy, and she had just done a feature with Chance the Rapper called “Israel (Sparring).” The soothing, spoken word delivery of her flows stood out to the listener, grabbing their attention. If tone and sound could translate into imagery, Noname’s imagery would be a soft caressing touch, a gentle hold of whatever beats come her way. With this delivery, paired with her quick-witted metaphors and similes, it’s not hard to see why she is quickly becoming a household name in the female Rap/Hip-hop genre.
If tone and sound could translate into imagery, Noname’s imagery would be a soft caressing touch, a gentle hold of whatever beats come her way.
About a year after releasing “Israel (Sparring)” with Chance the Rapper, she released her album, Telefone on Soundcloud in 2016. Telefone was a ten track album, and a very good comprehensive piece of work. Noname pours her memories of joy and heartbreak into this album. Her voice is soothing, strong and resigned, but hopeful for the future. It creates a sense of intimacy similar to listening to a close friend open up to you over the telephone. In her song, “Sunny Duet” she matter-of-factly remembers heartbreak. Even as she is telling us this story of heartbreak, her quietly skipping cadence brings a sense of hopefulness.
Born in Chicago, Illinois on September 18, as Fatima Warner, she was surrounded by music such as Hip-Hop and Blues. Noname’s ability to play with words, while letting us know that each word is important most likely stems from her childhood after-school activities. As a youth, Noname spent years writing poetry and performing spoken word for YOUmedia program for young creatives. YOUmedia is a program for at-risk Chicago kids, giving space for them to channel their creativity into something beautiful. Noname would compete in open mics and poetry slams held by YOUmedia; gradually transitioning into freestyling over the years. It was during this transition that she ran into Chance the Rapper, Mick Jenkins, SABA, and other fellow creatives from Chicago.
Two years after the release of “Telefone”, Noname released Room 25, on September 14, 2018. Room 25 speaks of what Noname has been up to, two years after the release of “Telefone.” Noname talks about her move to Los Angels, getting into a short relationship (that ended with her losing her virginity at the age of 25). Recorded within a month’s time, Room 25 received critical acclaim. Metric, a company that reviews and rates albums through a scale out of 100, gave Room 25 a rating of 93, indicating critical acclaim. “Prayer Song“ and “Blaxploitation“ are few of the standout songs, and really show the power and tactic in which Noname tells her story in Room 25. Described as soulful, flawless and intense Room 25 just speaks of the potential Noname has. I don’t think the world is ready. Catch Noname on at White Oak Music Hall on February 28, 2019.