Noname, a black female rapper you’ve probably never heard of, declared this week that she’ll no longer be performing live because her audience is predominantly white, saying she’s “uncomfortable performing for majority white crowds.”
In a now-deleted tweet, the 28-year-old rapper from Chicago (who's real name is Fatimah Warner) posted a photo of a clown putting on makeup, along with the caption, “me consistently creating content that is primarily consumed by a white audience who would rather shit on me than challenge their liberalism because some how liking Lizzos music absolves them of racist tendencies.”
After getting pushback for her comments, Noname doubled down on her original tweet, saying, “whats funny is most black artist are just as uncomfortable performing for majority white crowds but would never publicly say that out of fear and allegiance to[…]Which isnt a bad thing necessarily cause niggas gotta eat but yall wouldnt be up and arms if I quit workn @ McDonalds.”
“That’s real,” she went on. “Unfortunately I’m not going to keep performing for predominantly white crowds. I have 2 shows on the books then after that I’m chilling on making music. If y’all don’t wanna leave the crib I feel it. I don’t want to dance on a stage for white people.”
Now, to be clear, I have no idea who “Noname” is, which makes her moniker particularly appropriate. And I have no plans to learn who she is beyond what it takes to write this blog. But apparently plenty of people like her stuff. Rolling Stone declared Noname as "One of the Best Rappers Alive" back in 2018. Her work has won numerous awards and been critically acclaimed by a slew of critics, for whatever that’s worth.
When it comes to Noname’s recent declaration that she won’t perform her music for white people, many of her fans are A-OK with that stance, even to the point of justifying and openly defending it.
“Noname’s angst about being a black creative performing black music in white spaces isn’t as stunning as it may initially seem,” Marcus Dowling wrote.
“In diving deep and long into the socioeconomic condition at-present of rap as a genre and hip-hop as a culture, we should be applauding Noname’s potential decision,” he explained, adding that black artists performing for white audiences can make a musician “feel like a wage slave to your music, and a metaphorical slave to slavery as an institution.”
Because apparently, enjoying rap enough to pay money to see it performed live is somehow co-opting the “black experience” and is therefore racist, but saying you hate your own fans because of their skin color...isn’t?
Except like it or not, it is. That’s exactly what this is. Blatant racism. The kind that's perpetuated by social system that sees prejudice in plastic Halloween decorations, children's Disney costumes and basic proper grammar, but not, apparently, in a rapper blatantly refusing to perform for certain fans because of their skin color.
But hey, if Noname is so disgusted by white people that she’ll risk her entire music career just to spite them, fine by me. I’m betting “Noname” will become “Nopaycheck” real quick.
(Cover Photo: FifthLegend)