Noname is a 26 year old rapper & poet from Chicago, Illinois who broke out onto the scene with her amazing 1st mixtape Telefone. She’s been laying low ever since but just a couple days before her 27th birthday, she is finally following it up with her full-length debut.
Things open with “Self”, where Noname is talking about the people who doubted her over a mellow beat from Phoelix (who produces the entire album by himself). The next track “Blaxpoitation” talks about the stereotypes of African Americans over a funky beat while the “Prayer Song” intellectually breaks down the common issues in America over a spacey instrumental. The track “Window” vents about how nobody knows the real her over an orchestral instrumental with a vibraphone in the back while the song “Don’t Forget About Me” is of course about how she wants to be remembered over an instrumental kin to J Dilla.
The track “Regal” sees Noname getting spiritual over an instrumental with a beautiful atmosphere to it while the song “Montego Bay” with Ravyn Lenae is a love tune with some prominently jazzy piano chords. The track “Ace” with Saba & Smino sees the 3 talking about life on the road over some beautiful background vocals while the song “Part of Me” vents about Noname not pretending to be herself over an acoustic guitar & live drumming. The penultimate track “With You” poetically talks about a failed relationship over a prominent psychedelic guitar while the closer “No Name” talks about nonexistence over a bare piano.
Overall, this might be better than Telefone. There are couple features I were indifferent towards but outside of that, Noname’s lyricism is just as thoughtful as is the jazzy neo-soul based production. Also, Noname’s calm & relaxing flow continues to enhance the vibe of each track for the better.