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Noname (black female rapper) may quit music, says she won’t perform for mostly white audiences

nsilvias

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,419
Noname is one of the most exciting rappers in the world right now, but over the last few days she’s taken to Twitter to vent her frustrations with fans and the music industry.
On November 20th, the Chicago artist posted and then deleted details about a new album, Factory Baby, as well as dropping a bomb: Noname may quit music following the album’s release.
“To be honest with you, my heart isn’t fully in it anymore,” Noname wrote. “The relationship between ‘artist’ and ‘fan’ is really fucking unhealthy. Yall like what y’all like and hate what y’all hate. And I don’t wanna be on either side. I’m just tryna read and organize. After factory baby it’s (peace sign emoji).”

Although the original post was later deleted, Noname has continued to tweet, and her words have reinforced the impression of an artist searching her soul.
On November 28th, Noname tweeted a picture of a woman in clown makeup. The caption read, “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.”
The next day, Noname clarified her thinking in a series of posts. In one, she wrote about how other artists have more diverse crowds than she does, using Megan Thee Stallion, DaBabay, and Smino as examples. In another, she said, “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” money.
A series of now deleted tweets :

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
Y’all really pushing the idea that black people can’t come to my shows because of black death and financial restraint ??? As if Dababy, Megan and Smino shows ain’t black as hell? Say you don’t like my shit and move around lol
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
when I go to work, thousands of white people scream the word nigga at me. and no I’m not changing my art so it is what it is. catch me
That’s real. 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.
I refuse to keep making music and putting it online for free for people who won’t support me
I dont have much to add but i thought this was interesting as many era posters have pointed out that rap shows tend to have a largely white audience.
Hopefully she doesnt really quit but i understand.


 

Kegels

Member
Jan 24, 2019
2,380
well if she wants to quit because it makes her uncomfortable then whatever. i dont know what else she could do.
 

MaximumSpider

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,926
Noname is queen but I don't think she should quit music. Maybe not go on tours anymore even if that's how she makes majority of her money.
I understand exactly where she's coming from though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,600
canada
I mean its her choice, but this seems like a situation in which she could talk to her audiences about not saying the n word etc. Im white passing and really enjoy her music so. But I also dont listen to lyrics or sing along to songs so Im probs in the clear
 

collige

Member
Oct 31, 2017
5,588
Music industry is fucked up. She shouldn't be in a position where the actual music she's writing becomes just a vehicle for live performance money.

She could pull a JME and only release music physically, I guess.
 

Razgriz417

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,478
so she's mad that only her white fans are willing to go to her shows and doesn't feel comfortable performing for white crowds? I guess that's her choice if she wants to quit.
 

Palantiri

Member
Oct 25, 2017
395
I dont know anything about her, but is there something about her music that does not appeal to her intended audience? Or has her image become associated with a type of (predominantly) white crowd, making black supporters feel pushed out?

I imagine having a bunch of entitled white people addressing you with racial slurs as though that is ok and familial can just consume your passion, then not getting love from your community leaves you feeling stranded and alone. I hope she can keep her passion even if she moves away from performance.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,600
canada
Weird to see the disconnect between say rappers thoughts like hers today and the blues revival of the 60s. Where the rolling stones and others brought the blues to white audiences and helped catapult Buddys, BBs, and others careers to new heights. The blues revival without a doubt helped garner allies for the civil rights movement so this modern disconnect between artist and fan seems wrongheaded to me
 

Bear

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
5,043
User Banned (2 Weeks): Dismissive Drive By Posting; Prior Ban for Similar Behavior
imagine being mad that people like your music.
 
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OP
nsilvias

nsilvias

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,419
I dont know anything about her, but is there something about her music that does not appeal to her intended audience? Or has her image become associated with a type of (predominantly) white crowd, making black supporters feel pushed out?
her music is very much about being black in america. she's basically a poet rapper that started out at poetry slams
 

Doomsayer

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
2,338
How hard is it for white people to just not say the word at shows?

I go to hip-hop shows all the time and never once have I shouted the n word during a performance. Goddamn, like it really isn't hard.

imagine being mad that people like your music.
That's a bit reductive. She seems more upset that white people are shouting the n word freely at her shows.
 

LosDaddie

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
3,622
Longwood, FL
Ok.

So stop your career in music because your fans don’t have enough melanin. That’s your choice. Just don’t complain about money problems afterwards.

Also, I love how salty other musicians are with Lizzo’s success 🤣
 

Prometheus.

Member
Sep 17, 2019
126
As a non American black guy, your race relationships are beyond fucked up; mostly because of white supremacism but shit like this also sound racist as fuck to me. Changing the existent division should also include going beyond your audience's skin color, and you know, judging individuals, and not non-electable groups such as human races as a whole.
 
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canseesea

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,680
I've only seen her live once in an early afternoon spot at a festival (where she tried to cut her set in half because the crowd wasn't really giving her any energy back), but she came off much more as an artist than a performer in general. I can buy her not wanting to deal with a lot of bullshit that comes along with getting on stage for people who largely aren't paying attention to what she's saying. Hopefully she either works through it or finds another path for herself, she's talented as hell.
 

BLEEN

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
6,276
Beatles did that when people actually paid for music though.
100% true. It's up to her what she wants to charge. Or her label. I don't know if she's signed or independent but there are options.

Edit* OH cool, she bankrolled it and released it herself and from what I can gather, just put it up for free.
 

Kegels

Member
Jan 24, 2019
2,380
As a non American black guy, your race relationships are beyond fucked up; mostly because of white supremacism but shit like this also sound racist as fuck to me.
I mean, it's not great. If I was white and a fan of hers I would probably be pretty upset to know that me being those combinations of things at her show pissed her off.
 

Doomsayer

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
2,338
That's even more reductive, she's just as much calling out the rest of her audience for not supporting her to the same degree. It's more an indictment of everyone else judging by her anecdotes.
They seem to kind of go together, at least based on the tweets in the OP.

She is calling out black people for not attending her shows and calling out white people for saying the n word. Saying things like "I don't want to dance around for white people" is incredibly dumb though.
 

Nerokis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,077
imagine being mad that people like your music.
doesn’t really seem to be about that, though

she feels like a lot of her white audience connects with her music in a toxic way, enjoying it on a superficial level while, say, refusing to stop saying the n-word at her shows

in the meantime, she’s disappointed that PoC aren’t showing up in high numbers and seemingly not particularly digging her music on any level at all

I can understand how that would be demoralizing
 

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,807
She should do what makes her comfortable. As a white dude, I can't imagine trying to navigate the complexities of a minority artist. That sucks.

I do feel at a loss on how someone like me can best be supportive of an artist in this situation. I don't want to perpetuate any problems, but I also want to go support and cheer minority artists on in their work. I don't think doing so absolves me from fighting other systemic racism issues, but I try to do what I can.
 

GrimJawz

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
610
Canada
Yeah no one should be shouting slurs at her that's crazy, but also she's not going to get much sympathy from me, you don't want to keep being a rich successful artist? cool dog come join the rest of us with are horrible 9-5s making no money.
 
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nsilvias

nsilvias

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,419
I mean, it's not great. If I was white and a fan of hers I would probably be pretty upset to know that me being those combinations of things at her show pissed her off.
It's less being pissed off and more being frustrated as her music is literally about the black experience and her audience is predominantly white. she's not rapping about the things cardi b raps about. she raps about life as black woman living in chicago. her music is basiclaly poetry over hip hop beats
 
Oct 27, 2017
14,146
Seattle
She should do what makes her comfortable. As a white dude, I can't imagine trying to navigate the complexities of a minority artist. That sucks.

I do feel at a loss on how someone like me can best be supportive of an artist in this situation. I don't want to perpetuate any problems, but I also want to go support and cheer minority artists on in their work. I don't think doing so absolves me from fighting other systemic racism issues, but I try to do what I can.

seems like by not going to her shows, and just buying her music? Or at least maybe bringing some PoC with you to her shows?

Even though the understanding is now artists make their $$$ on touring, so I'm not sure?
 

FenninRo

Member
Nov 13, 2019
83
Seems like she should ban white people from her shows. If she only wants minority attention, she should be prepared to make a lot less money, though. Still, if she has convictions that her music is not for white people, then she should stick to them.
 

bobbychalkers

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,583
I hope she doesn’t quit because she is a phenomenal artist but yeah, it’s a weird case of you can’t choose your fans. Her music is very rooted in blackness so I can see her hesitation with the music industry. Some artists can thrive with a majority white audience (JPEGMafia pokes fun at this in his shows often) but not everyone would be comfortable with that. Ironically the one time i saw her live was at AFROPUNK Atlanta last year with a super black crowd. She’s great live but technical difficulties cut her time in half.
 

SlothmanAllen

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,580
I don't know what you could do about this? I guess she could try a career outside of the US, or in a country majority non-white population? That just sounds stupid though, and not like much of a solution. I just don't know how you can filter your fan base with music being so easy to digest in today's world. I guess if you have a bunch of white people showing up, maybe the message in your music isn't resonating with the people you are aiming it at?

As a non American black guy, your race relationships are beyond fucked up; mostly because of white supremacism but shit like this also sound racist as fuck to me. Changing the existent division should also include going beyond your audience's skin color, and you know, judging individuals, and no non-electable groups such as human races as a whole.
Yeah, this seems to be a bit of the case. If these people are showing up at your shows, maybe its because they agree with you message and want to support you. I am not sure if just shutting down and leaving music is really sending the right message.
 

The Woods

The way out is through
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
4,139
I saw her mentioning something similar in an interview just after Room 25 dropped. I hope she can find a way to still feel comfortable creating and performing the music she does, she's an incredible artist with an important voice.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,708
Patronizing art is a privilege. Tickets aren’t free, having time and being able to travel aren’t free. No wonder most commercial music is for a white audience.
 

Sou Da

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,190
It's less being pissed off and more being frustrated as her music is literally about the black experience and her audience is predominantly white. she's not rapping about the things cardi b raps about. she raps about life as black woman living in chicago. her music is basiclaly poetry over hip hop beats
I mean eventually you just gotta do what jpeg did and think about how it's cool that you can get white crowds to sing along to "fuck white people"
 

collige

Member
Oct 31, 2017
5,588
100% true. It's up to her what she wants to charge. Or her label. I don't know if she's signed or independent but there are options.

Edit* OH cool, she bankrolled it and released it herself and from what I can gather, just put it up for free.
Oh I was assuming the "putting it online for free" part was metaphorical since streaming pays peanuts, not that she literally put it up as name your price on Bandcamp. I completely empathize with the position of not wanting to be forced into doing shows, but if she wants to kneecap her own direct revenue stream, that's on her.