Chloe Christian | Contributing Photographer
In today’s era of modern experimental rap, Noname covers important topics poetically and energetically. With insightful lyrics, Noname’s music provokes conversation on black feminism, opportunity and the human experience. The fun and optimistic energy of her music translated onstage.
On Nov. 14, Chicago-based rapper Noname performed at Tipitina’s with opener Arima Ederra.
The slam poet and rapper is best known for her album, “Telefone,” with hits “Shadowman,” “Reality Check” and “Diddy Bop.” Acquainted with other Chicago rappers, such as Mick Jenkins, Chance the Rapper and Kanye West, Noname’s performance attracted a huge fan base of Tulane students.
Noname’s lyrical personality guarantees a good live show, with soulful choruses accompanying an upbeat tempo. Reminiscent of the soulful period of 1960s America, which Noname has cited as an influence, her music brings back the honest emotions of the R&B human voice rather than the techno influence of today.
With mixtape releases on multiple music platforms, including YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify, she has become a popular musician in modern hip hop.
Despite her growing fame and success, the allure of Noname is her humble and relatable persona. With lyrics such as “opportunity knocking, a girl just got her nails done,” Noname addresses the complexity of adolescence in a simple way.
Los Angeles-based soul singer Arima Ederra opened with an array of music from her EP, “Temporary Fixes,” such as “Tripping on U,” “Artist Addiction” and “Temporary Fixes.” Before each song Ederra performed, she would shout, “Wassup New Orleans! How y’all feeling?” The red-hued lighting created a relaxed atmosphere in which the crowd would sway to her soulful singing.
Before the main act arrived on stage, Ederra performed a cover of New Orleans artist Frank Ocean’s “Self Control.” Ederra pumped up Noname fans with sultry pop ballads and soulful R&B melodies, receiving an excited reaction from the crowd.
Jumping on stage with energy, Noname yelled out, “New Orleans, what’s good?” The crowd responded with cheers as she opened with “Diddy Bop.”
The crowd sang the lyrics with her during each song, and Noname, in turn, smiled with gratitude for her fans. Wearing no shoes, Noname slid across the stage energetically in her socks.
The one – the only – @nonamehiding. Just hanging out in NOLA. Selling out @tipitinasuptown. (No biggie)
Rapping fast in tune with the band, Noname performed hits “Bye Bye Baby,” “Reality Check” and “Casket Pretty” and closed the concert with “Shadow Man.” Jumping around stage, she interacted with the front row. The rapper yelled out, “I’m gonna teach y’all a few things!” A young man responded, “Teach us professor!” The crowd erupted with laughter as Noname transitioned into the end of the set, laughing.
The soulful gospel rhythms coalesced with her fast words. Lacking the arrogance of the typical rapper, one might wonder why such a quiet and humble musician has achieved such star power in an era of trap and house music.
The answer is evident in Noname’s vulnerable lyrics and her articulation of the human experience. Through smiles between sets and intimate attempts at connection with the audience, one could testify that her genuine authenticity wasn’t an act.