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

amusix

The Fallen
Oct 29, 2017
695
User Banned (1 Month): Racist trolling
Wait, the audience isn't screaming racial slurs at her....they're singing along?
 

Aaronology

Member
Oct 27, 2017
574
Chicago
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
Exactly. She is writer and a poet first and a rapper just beyond that, and talented in all those aspects. Seriously disappointed to hear this, though I absolutely understand where she's coming from. Not to knock Cardi B. or Nicki before her, but Noname's talent is deeper and has way more substance.

This is a loss.
 

TaySan

Member
Dec 10, 2018
7,413
It's her choice and if that makes her feel better then it's whatever. But I don't think it's productive to attack your fans just because they don't have enough melanin in them. Maybe discuss with them about not using the N word at your shows.
 

Instro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,363
Why is her audience particularly white though? Not really familiar with her music, is it not popular with black people?
 

Doomsayer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,491
Perhaps not legally, but I'm sure if she made it known that white people aren't welcome at her shows, most of them would get the message.
That would essentially be career suicide, considering she is upset that PoC don't go to her shows anyway.

I couldn't imagine barring an entire race from your shows would go over very well, either.
 

jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
465
Just a side note, is there a bit of a backlash against Lizzo going on? Particularly in the black community? I'm sorry, I'm out of the loop.
 

Aaronology

Member
Oct 27, 2017
574
Chicago
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.
Dumb how? Black musicians shouldn't feel the need to put on an act, caricatured or otherwise, just to please a white audience who has little actual respect for them or their art. At what point does it become a circus act?
 

amusix

The Fallen
Oct 29, 2017
695
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
This seems strange to me.

Ok, so her art speaks about the black experience. She is attempting to give a voice to something that has been historically ignored. Now, it seems to me that the lesson of understanding the black experience would need to be taught to a generally whiter audience. So, having a whiter audience seems to be the best outcome here....no? Or does her art not try to convey the black experience, and simply seeks to build solidarity among others who live it?
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,925
Why is her audience particularly white though? Not really familiar with her music, is it not popular with black people?
She's an indie artist who's primarily on the festival circuit. Festival tickets cost in the hundreds meaning only white people can usually afford them. Most black indie artists have white fans for these reasons.

Don't know why she brought up DaBaby and Smino when those are two popular mainstream artists who can perform to solely black audiences.
 

lacer

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
6,693
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.
but it costs like 20-30 to see a show, and, as she herself points out, plenty of black people manage to find their way to and can afford concerts by other rappers
 

Doomsayer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,491
Dumb how? Black musicians shouldn't feel the need to put on an act, caricatured or otherwise, just to please a white audience who has little actual respect for them or their art. At what point does it become a circus act?
No one is asking her to do any of those things. People go to her shows because they enjoy the art that she creates, not for her to be anything you listed.

She is basically saying she doesn't want to perform for people who pay for her shows and I think it's a bad take.
 

Baji Boxer

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,399
I don't understand why it's so hard for other white people to not say the n word. I manage to not say it 24/7.
 

Tabaxi

Member
Nov 18, 2018
1,692
It's entirely understandable for anyone to want to quit if they feel they've attracted a toxic fanbase. I can't imagine how awful it would feel to have white "fans" who think it's OK to sing the n-word at you. That shit is beyond racist.

But this part:

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
kinda seems like she's blaming other POC for not getting into her music.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
6,925
but it costs like 20-30 to see a show, and, as she herself points out, plenty of black people manage to find their way to and can afford concerts by other rappers
All of those rappers are mainstream artists who get played on urban stations. They're not gonna hear about Noname at the pitchfork festival.
 

HotHamBoy

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
13,371
But i don't understand, if those white people didn't show up to her shows would no one be there? Or are the white people buying all the tickets before anyone else can?

I think I get where she is coming from but doesn't it seem like it's kinda on her target audience for not showing up?

Edit: oh, is that what she's actually saying? That she's frustrated at the people she wants to support her for not supporting her?

Edit 2: i understand the disconnect and disrespect from the white fans, i just don't understand how one controls or influences crowd composition
 
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UltimateHigh

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,711
there's a lot of white people out there and she makes the kind of music that speaks more to the indie crowds (like me, she's great), which is even more
predominantly white. it is what it is, that's life.

however a bunch of white people rapping along to the n word is uncomfortable, incredibly so.
 

Aaronology

Member
Oct 27, 2017
574
Chicago
No one is asking her to do any of those things. People go to her shows because they enjoy the art that she creates, not for her to be anything you listed.

She is basically saying she doesn't want to perform for people who pay for her shows and I think it's a bad take.
Yes. She hates white people. That's it, exactly.

I swear black people need our own version of "ok boomer" to express the frustration of constantly trying to convey points of view to groups of people who go out of their way to avoid understanding us.
 

LosDaddie

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
3,622
Longwood, FL
User Banned (1 Month): Dismissive commentary in a sensitive thread and history of similar behavior
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.
A ban based on race?

Just a side note, is there a bit of a backlash against Lizzo going on? Particularly in the black community? I'm sorry, I'm out of the loop.
Other artists are jealous of her success.
 

Godsfather

Member
Jul 14, 2019
62
I guess it's different here cause I'm in New Orleans but plenty of black people at her last show here. Im a fan, and this isn't the first time she's talked about quitting. I can imagine those white fans feeling it's their right to say the n word pushed her to this, hope she figures something out cause she not gonna get paid without doing shows
 

Hjod

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,618
Behind my desk.
How hard can it be to understand. She raps about her experiences and having a sea of white people there is uncomfortable since most of the bad exepriences as a black person is because of you know, us white people. It's not that hard to understand.

Stop being so thin skinned and listen for once.
 

Rover

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,639
Why is her audience particularly white though? Not really familiar with her music, is it not popular with black people?
I think what's happening is that live shows (at least the ones she's playing) are priced for at least somewhat affluent crowds, and a lot of these venues are probably located in gentrified areas.

But if you don't charge X amount for a ticket for your show, it might not make sense to tour, so white audiences are just who end up showing and paying a lot of times.

Setting race aside for a moment, the crowd composition is always gonna tell you something about who you're connecting with as an artist. Nobody trying to make art wants to feel like they're playing at a birthday party or recording an online breakup message for $100.

White audiences singing along to the n-word is a whole other level of problematic, though, and I don't blame anybody for walking right away from that.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,683
a sunken pirate ship
She is basically saying she doesn't want to perform for people who pay for her shows and I think it's a bad take.
Main reason I disagree is that even right here on this forum, this supposed bastion of progressivism, you still get regular posters who come in and try to treat creative works like they can be divorced from politics, that exist only as expressions of aesthetics, and that those aesthetics aren't rooted in ideologies themselves.

I am not going to blame someone for getting demoralized when they are bearing their souls out, illustrating cultural pain, to an audience who won't engage with it beyond "sick beat" or "finally, an excuse to say the n-word".
 
Oct 27, 2017
15,117
Seattle
It was mentioned that she performs mainly on the festival circuit, and those are usually white folks that can afford it.

Could you she do some house shows or small clubs, using social media etc to attract more PoC? Or is the fear that these shows will still only attract mostly white audiences?
 

Prometheus.

Member
Sep 17, 2019
164
Yes. She hates white people. That's it, exactly.

I swear black people need our own version of "ok boomer" to express the frustration of constantly trying to convey points of view to groups of people who go out of their way to avoid understanding us.
Well, as black person, I think her takes at race are at least troubled, if not downright racist (If the mostly white crowd uses ethnic slurs I could understand her position but is saying "nigga" at a rap concert such a thing? )

Maybe is because I'm not American but things as "generic white guy" or "old white men" sound pretty bad to me, I understand the need to highlight a traditional white dominance in some aspects but leaving race behind in our society should also include being a bit more generous and less bitter with many well intentioned white people, even if their efforts aren't absolutely perfect.
 

amusix

The Fallen
Oct 29, 2017
695
Don't say the N word if you're a white person. That includes "singing along."
I agree with this. But, then again, I don't think the word should ever be used, by anyone. It's a disgusting term with an abhorrent origin.

however, if you have a club full of people singing along with your song, and a line comes up where everyone goes:
<<WHAT'S AN EYE FOR AN EYE WHEN _______ WON'T LOVE YOU BACK?>>
I'd say that serves to highlight the word more than if the crowd just sang through it.

Then there's the situation where half of the audience says it and half doesn't...which is less jarring aurally, but really serves to widen that divide between races in the audience. Not sure if that's a great thing.


He knows this. Dont waste your time with his 'innocent' observations.
Don't assume. It wasn't an 'innocent' observation....it was an understanding that wasn't readily apparent in the quotes. Because I honestly thought that her audience were yelling racial slurs at her as some sort of 'inside' thing (in an "Anthrax Sucks" sort of way).
 

Alpha Baymax

Member
Dec 3, 2019
676
Maybe she should do features with other indie artist with a larger PoC audience to increase her exposure to non-Caucasian fans?
 

Cornelius

Member
Jan 3, 2018
559
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.
The problem is the mainstreaming of black content. White people patronize artists like Noname for very different reason than that artist makes content. For them her performance is less about her personal agency and message but about consuming and participating in a cultural rebellion that is wholly constructed by their white positionality. The resurgence of "Exoticism" as a popular practice is real. Think of why Nat King, Ella Fitzgerald, Diahann Carroll etc. did what they did, and then think of why white people patronized them. She is struggling with the realization that entertainment is largely trending towards this dynamic as class-social-racial lines once again solidify.

And as someone who has lived outside the American bubble, "black exoticism" and "commoditization" is not uniquely an American phenomenon. Though it is especially egregious in the music industry.
 
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captive

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,795
Houston
i dont understand, what is she upset about?

In one sentence she says she doesnt like white crowds cause they're still racist but then on the last tweet she says im not gonna put out free music for people who dont support me. Wouldnt people showing up, paying ticket prices for her shows be the essence of supporting her?
 

TheMango55

Member
Nov 1, 2017
4,593
I wonder if you can tell from the stage as a musical artist whether people are singing the n word or one of the “n word replacements” like “neighbor”

I’m sure right now most are saying the n word but if they changed would you be able to tell the difference?
 

Znazzy

Member
Aug 27, 2018
564
Main reason I disagree is that even right here on this forum, this supposed bastion of progressivism, you still get regular posters who come in and try to treat creative works like they can be divorced from politics, that exist only as expressions of aesthetics, and that those aesthetics aren't rooted in ideologies themselves.

I am not going to blame someone for getting demoralized when they are bearing their souls out, illustrating cultural pain, to an audience who won't engage with it beyond "sick beat" or "finally, an excuse to say the n-word".
Every time someone posts in disagreement with something, someone always posts “I thought this was supposed to be a progressive forum?!” Isn’t the entire purpose of a message board to have discourse on a subject. If everyone came in here posting the same exact thing, what is the point?

Listen, I’m half-black, and I’m having trouble understanding what she wants to happen. I understand she has frustrations about not reaching her intended audience, and she has the right as a performer to choose whether she wants to quit or not. However, to complain about the people who are buying your music and giving you your income is..a little bizarre to me. So maybe she should either perform at non-festival venues or do some self-reflection as to why black people aren’t coming to her shows.
 

Doomsayer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,491
Main reason I disagree is that even right here on this forum, this supposed bastion of progressivism, you still get regular posters who come in and try to treat creative works like they can be divorced from politics, that exist only as expressions of aesthetics, and that those aesthetics aren't rooted in ideologies themselves.

I am not going to blame someone for getting demoralized when they are bearing their souls out, illustrating cultural pain, to an audience who won't engage with it beyond "sick beat" or "finally, an excuse to say the n-word".
That's 100% fair and something that I agree with. I just think it's unfair to label everyone attending her shows in the same blanket even if they are there to empathize with her.

Yes. She hates white people. That's it, exactly.

I swear black people need our own version of "ok boomer" to express the frustration of constantly trying to convey points of view to groups of people who go out of their way to avoid understanding us.
Where did I even imply that she hates white people? I even prefaced it by saying she even calls out PoC for not supporting her in an earlier the post. Not sure where your comment comes from.
 

UltimateHigh

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,711
I am not going to blame someone for getting demoralized when they are bearing their souls out, illustrating cultural pain, to an audience who won't engage with it beyond "sick beat" or "finally, an excuse to say the n-word".
that's not her audience though. her audience in pure numbers is likely the indie crowd, the "pitchfork.tv" crowd and while predominantly white, they aren't what you're describing here.
 

XandBosch

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,910
Cool, let someone else who actually appreciates an audience no matter what they look like take your fame and following. I understand her point, but it's not the fault of her audience for....liking her music....and it's not the fault of the people who AREN'T going that they don't like her music. Most musicians who attain any degree of success are just fucking happy that ONE person cares enough to listen, let alone get paid to be an artist lol.

I hope she doesn't even get the choice at this point and her audience (who is apparently mostly white) just bounce out. "Sorry for supporting you?"
 

FenninRo

alt account
Banned
Nov 13, 2019
84
That would essentially be career suicide, considering she is upset that PoC don't go to her shows anyway.

I couldn't imagine barring an entire race from your shows would go over very well, either.
She obviously doesn't want white people enjoying her music, so I don't see how making that message heard loud and clear would go poorly for her if her desired result is getting fewer white people to attend her shows. Yeah, it probably will mean less money for her, but convictions are more important. Maybe find a way to play at venues that are more accessible to the people she wants to enjoy her music?

A ban based on race?
Ban was the wrong word to use, since I don't think she could legally get away with that, but making damn sure white people aren't welcome is something she should be within her rights to do.