Noname – Get To The Gig

Hailing from Chicago, the hometown of legends like Common, Kanye West, and Vic Mensa, rapper Noname has proven her spot among the stars through soft-spoken yet empowering lyrics and flowing, soulful melodies. Noname, born Fatimah Warner in Chicago’s Avalon Park neighborhood, spent her first 13 years living with her grandparents before moving in with her mother in the Bronzeville area. In high school, Warner spent free time exploring Chicago’s creative spaces, finding vision and artistic stimulus in an after-school teen program called YOUmedia. Hosted in the Harold Washington Library, YOUmedia proved to be an extremely influential space, providing opportunities to pursue an interest in writing that led to involvement in open mics and spoken word events. Through budding friendships with other passionate individuals as well as mentorship from Brother Mike – a poet and activist later eulogized in her track “Yesterday” – Warner came to develop a love for making music in addition to poetry.

Today, her poetic roots – along with influences from favorites Buddy Guy, Nina Simone, and writer Toni Morrison – certainly shine in her music. While contemporaries such as Nicki Minaj and Cardi-B, among others, have risen to fame in a male-dominated rap scene with high energy forceful confidence, Noname opts for – as described by a StudyBreaks article – a “poetic vulnerability that, paradoxically, empowers her.” A silky, gentle voice paired with impassioned and articulate lyrics ranging from gun violence in “Casket Baby” to sexuality in “Dizzy” make Noname a uniquely dynamic and powerful musical persona.

Somewhat ironically, Noname has made quite a name for herself; however, the epithet “Noname” reflects not an evasion of character or identity, but rather an “unwillingness to remain within the confines of musical genres or careers” (XXL Magazine). She says “For me, not having a name expands my creativity. I’m able to do anything […] I’m not limited to any one category of art or other existence”

Boasting collaborations with the O’My’s, Mick Jenkins, and Saba, Noname’s verse on close friend Chance The Rappers “Lost” – off of his “Acid Rap” project – ultimately brought her the most attention. Despite gaining traction from these team-ups, Noname has since proved that she is far more than the “female Chance The Rapper” that some have mistakenly dubbed her as. In July 2016, Noname released her highly anticipated debut mixtape “Telefone”, featuring ten tracks with artists such as Smino and Saba. Chicago Tribune called the mixtape “undoubtedly one of the best full-lengths of 2016”, and after just a few minutes of listening, it’s obvious that they were not mistaken.

“It’s a work of love in every definition of the word: romantic, familial, platonic, devastating, grateful, and beyond.” –

Noname brings all of her beauty, passion, and liveliness – as well as her band – to the Majestic Theatre on Monday, November 20. Don’t miss it!

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