Introduction to Noname


"I've watched so many of these so I'm like 'Man I wanna be as good as T-Pain,'"

Fatimah Warner says to a round of laughter. She is performing at NPR's Tiny Desk Concert's

and she wears a smile above a layer of heavy lyrics about her beginnings, abortions and

falling in love.

Noname doesn't have a "flow," which can be defined as the rhythm, rhyme and rhyme

schemes in a hip-hop lyric and how they intertwine. She talks in "scramble-think," referring

to the clever metaphors she throws in her songs like "Reality Check" and "Casket Pretty." Her

style can be described as a train of thought that is applied to a beat with sprinkles of back-up


Longtime fans would be familiar with her verse on a song with fellow Chicago native,

Chance the Rapper. In the verse, Noname looks within to her struggles with depression giving

a fresh voice and face to the Chicago rap scene. She allows audiences to follow her story as

she paints a visceral visual with her lyrics: "I wanna stop seeing my psychiatrist / She said

‘pill pop, baby girl cause I promise you, you tweaked / The empty bottled loneliness, this

happiness you seek.’"


She appears again on Chance's “Finish Line/Drown”, testifying about her faith and

how it has helped her; "I love you/I love you/You looking holy like Mama/You made a church

out of feathers/So when she fly to the Father/She know the choir gon' follow and all the

offering paid." In the lyrics, she plays on the phrase "birds of a feather flock together" and

the idea that when one member of a community dies, the rest of community is hopeful that

they will be reunited again.

When analyzing what she is capable of through her ability to shape words to tell a

story, Noname's talent is undeniable. From her start in youth poetry programs in Chicago to

her own tour and Tiny Desk Concert, Noname has made a name for herself.

Photo Credit:  Graphite Publications, Vice