I love Noname, her brilliant records are a joy and lyrically those pieces of music are amongst the smartest and funniest you will hear. That’s Entertainment, it might be said.
Noname came to prominence following her contribution to fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper’s 2013 Acid Rap mixtape. She has never settled since. Her 2018 LP Self amalgamated the soothest, floaty jazziest backbeats -the bass player gets in a lot of notes, with her powerful feminist lyricism. And Oh! The voice... One of the LPs of the year.
“Y'all really thought a bitch couldn't rap huh?”
In 2019 Noname instituted the Noname Book Club, a book club featuring less overtly commercial titles and featuring Black authors and thinkers. Her initiative, let’s say, took off. There are Noname Book Club chapters all across America and all over the world including London. They are sort of offline and online too. Join one. The current reading is the award winning Blood Child by Octavia E. Butler and also Oyinkan Braithwaite’s fabulous My Sister, The Serial Killer - which I can’t recommend highly enough - clearing up after your sister is never fun!
Noname’s commitment to literature is not the dabbling of a dilettante. Earlier this month, perhaps another dream was realized with the opening of the national headquarters of the Noname Book Club and The Radical Hood Library in Jefferson Park in Los Angeles. Noname told Lithub about her mum’s Afrocentric Bookstore in Chicago which she’d opened in 1990 which has kind of given Noname an entrepreneurial drive for independence which motivates her today.
A fun fact for you, in April the Noname Book Club dispatched 44 books to prisoners across the USA by September that program had leapt to sending over 600 books per month.
This is how change happens. Maybe Noname’s own book won’t be far down the line, oh wow can she write...
“My pussy teaches ninth-grade English
My pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism
In conversation with a marginal system in love with Jesus
Y'all really thought a bitch couldn't rap huh?” - Noname ‘Self’
Lithub story on the Radical Hood Library
No Name Books website
Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT, relentlessly records instrumental easy listening tracks, and is always completing the short story collection, Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere. More info at AncientChampion.com
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