NoName (or as I like to call her MoName) is creating rippling waves after dropping her critically acclaimed debut mixtape Telefone in July of 2016. The Chicago born & bred star is currently on her sold out tour and I was lucky enough to attend her San Francisco show at The Chapel last weekend.
The influential artist did a rare interview with THE FADER where she shed light on her mentality behind Telefone – which likely taps into your mindset about your tele.
"When I initially created it, I wanted it to feel like a conversation with someone who you have a crush on for the first time. Your first time talking on the phone with someone you really like. I wanted it to have all of that awkwardness and laughter and the moments of silence where it’s like, “Ugh, this is really awkward and I don’t know what to say right now.” But you’re excited to tell them new things about yourself. That’s what it started off as. Now, it’s kind of just like, my life is my phone. All of the joy that my friends and family bring me: A phone call, a text message, a meme, laughter, all of that shit exists within my phone. It’s my only access to the world around me, aside from a physical one-on-one interaction, because I don’t have a computer. I’m on my manager’s computer right now."
Her initial statement about having a conversation with your crush for the first time really hits the g spot. Her project flirts with the topic of temptation while also discussing real ass issues like racism and death yet all over these sunny sounding beats. It's like the stream of a conscious rapper has finding beauty in the imperfections.
The production on Telefone was more satisfying than any full-length project I heard in 2016, and I'd even stretch to say better than most in 2015 too. The San Francisco performance started with "All I Need" which is perhaps the most streamed song off the project, followed by "Sunny Duet" which sounded like raindrops on a sunny day. Then she did this coherent thing that artists rarely do, where she played "Diddy Bop" which directly follows "Sunny Duet" on Telefone. It's like, I was expecting it – and then she delivered. She also sang her verse off Chance The Rapper's titled "Lost". This was NoName's feature on Acid Rap where she made her initial buzz. She played pretty much every feature she's ever been on, from her cuts with Mick Jenkins like "Comfortable" and "Animated Ambition" as well as the entire track list off Telefone. She ended with my second favorite cut off the tape titled, "Forever" ft Ravyn Lenae, who is also a Chicago native. The young (like real young, 18 years young) artist teamed up with NoName all tour and came out to sing the hook on "Forever". The two slayed the performance as NoName went on to sing "Yesterday" and then exit the stage shortly after. I was left with a broken heart thinking "How could she not play Shadow Man? Is it because the lyrics are dark?" Luckily, she did as an encore as she came back out to a sea of roaring fans refusing to let the night end.
If you have a ticket to her sold-out show, you're lucky. If you don't, I would consider spending mass amounts of bills to see her live because it's damn worth it.
Photo Credit: Bryan Allen Lamb