By: Funmi Onadipe
Former Co-Founder and Writer of Ballistic Sounds.
You heard her in “Lost” on Acid Rap when she hypnotized you with her complex lyricism and fast paced but fluid flow. Now, Noname finally dropped her first mixtape, Telefone, and she has proved within just two days of its release that she is indeed, taking off.
Noname has the uncanny ability to channel her emotion intelligence about black womanhood, growing up, violence in black neighborhoods, relationships and individuality. Her poetic flow is something that will always separate her from other artists in her time. Each verse will make you feel like she is reciting a poem directly to you as if it were just her and you in a theater.
“Diddy Bop” Ft Raury and Cam O’bi has nostalgic tone over a mystical instrumental that will remind the listeners of the evolution from adolescence to adulthood. They both reminisce about growing up and the influence their community has on them. They rap about the times where they have had dreams to make their neighborhood proud while reflecting on themselves. Noname’s first line “This sounds like Mississippi sippy cup” uses imagery to set a theme that is fluid throughout the entire song as Raury follows with his soft harmonious vocals that takes listeners in a dreamworld.
“Casket Pretty” is a more somber vibe as she touches the issues of violence in her city. “All my n*ggas are casket pretty/aint no one safe in this happy city/I hope you make it home/I hope to God that my telly don’t ring” She expresses her fear for young black men as well as the children who are, and always have been the target for violence and police brutality. She translates her paranoia and anxiety through her passionate but soft flow that is slower than usual in this particular song. The instrumental seems comforting but all the while an audio of a crying baby is played over it, that will send chills down the listener’s spine.
Although there’s an essence of monotony to her delivery, her lyrics are complex and mesmerizing, and her flow is like water. Her content will speak to the soul of the listener, as she is sharing her thought, experiences, and soul with her audience she is liberating them as well. She reminds us that someone gets it. As she talks her truth, you will realize that she is connecting to your truth, too. Her energy is felt through the speakers and her soul is on her sleeve. She puts a twist on Neo-Soul with her unique lyricism and clean cut delivery along with impressive metaphors and allusions that draw a picture in the listener's head.
This debut has shown us what we’ve been waiting for. We got a taste through her features on other artists’ songs, but now she is sharing her all on this mixtape. We have been waiting for her take off, and now it’s here.
Check it out: www.nonamehinding.com.