Hailing from Chicago, songstress Noname released her highly anticipated mixtape titled, Telefone, this week. To build the buzz, fans from all over tweeted “#Telefone” in support as they anxiously awaited the release. They were not disappointed. The tape includes features from Raury, theMIND, Smino, Ravyn Lenae and Saba with executive production from Noname, Cam O’bi and Phoelix.
Far from a comparable style, Noname raps in a poetic tone, capturing the true essence of Hip-Hop music with a spiritual touch to it. The 10 track mixtape, includes her previously released songs “Freedom Interlude“, which was included in our With All Due RESPECT. segment, and “All I Need.
It’s extremely refreshing to see the Windy City native grow as artist. Since she first appeared on Chance the Rappers‘, Acid Rap, mixtape in the track “Lost“. In fact, Noname is mostly known for featuring on many artists mixtapes these last few years, most notably Mick Jenkins‘, The Waters and Chance the Rappers’, tapes; Surf, and Coloring Book.
Some of my personal favorites are “Diddy Bop” featuring Raury and Las Vegas native Cam O’bi. This nostalgic track is easily one of the best musical duets in recent memory. Noname also reflects on growing up in Chicago, mentioning times she was caught smoking weed and rocking her new FUBU. “Shadow Man” featuring Saba, Smino, and Phoelix, the final track in the project and possibly one of the strongest, is a lyrically beautiful blend of Chicago talent. Saba, Smino, and Noname rap over a slow church like melody, accompanied with Phoelix’s soulful croons. “Casket Pretty“, is a strong and personal track for many as she speaks on violence. “All of ni**as is casket pretty”, raps Noname as she faces the grimy reality of death. One of the lines that stood out most was “too many babies in fitted suits”. This cut is thought provoking, extremely powerful, and vital to what is currently happening in the world.
Overall, Noname’s mixtape was an amazing contribution to the talent exuding from Chicago. She has the ability to create raw, honest music in such a unique way, while also composing mental images for the listener through her music as well. The singer/rapper speaks on numerous topics, ranging from on-going violence to quirky love songs. And much like Chance the Rapper, Noname has the natural ability to string words together in a clever yet lyrical melody making listeners grasp on every word.
Telefone sounds like a beautiful Sunday afternoon on a hot summer’s day in Chicago, calming, much appreciated, and necessary. The music industry is in need of a true female MC. Needless to say this mixtape couldn’t have come at a better time.
Listen to Telefone, below.
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