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Chicago rap artist “Noname”, makes a name for herself with her latest mixtape, Telefone.

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Chicago rap artist “Noname”, makes a name for herself with her latest mixtape, Telefone.

Noname's work represents Chicago's best, and is inspirational to all.

Noname's work represents Chicago's best, and is inspirational to all.

Courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

Noname's work represents Chicago's best, and is inspirational to all.

Courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

Courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

Noname's work represents Chicago's best, and is inspirational to all.

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Despite being born with the name Fatimah Warner, this artist chose something a little different as her stage name; in fact, she did not choose a name at all.

Formerly known as Noname Gypsy, Noname is a 26-year-old Chicago-based rapper known for her unique style and smooth voice.

In an interview, she explained that the stage name “Noname” is a way for her “to exist without binding [herself] to labels” and she believes that “not having a name expands her creativity,” since there is nothing there to hold her back. Despite her many years in the music business, Noname is not as popular as one might think.

In July of 2016, Noname released the mixtape Telefone with help from fellow Chicago artists Phoelix and Saba. Telefone is a ten-track mixtape with features from artists such as Joseph Chilliams, Saba, Smino, Phoelix, Akenya, The Mind and more.

Noname has a similar style to many other Chicago rappers, like the ones mentioned above, with a very upbeat and gospel sound. While Noname’s fast-paced rapping seems like it would clash with the very calm and smooth production, her music flows beautifully and is calming, yet very happy and positive.

If you listen to artists like Chance the Rapper and Saba, this name may seem familiar. Over the past few years, Noname has collaborated with many other Chicago artists such as Joseph Chilliams, Saba, Chance the Rapper, Jamila Woods and Mick Jenkins, and has been featured on over five tracks just in the past year. Noname’s collaboration with many other Chicago artists is no coincidence.

“I think the Chicago artistic community is very close-knit and loving and very family-oriented. So in terms of how we make music and how we interact with each other on an artist level is very based on friendship and respect and I think because of that, we’ve been able to facilitate a very beautiful, thriving community of artists…” said Noname in an interview with the New York Times last year. The Chicago music community is very familial and for artists such as Noname, it has helped them to thrive.

The entire Telefone mixtape was self-recorded without the help of a record label; however, this is not because she could not get signed. Noname joins many other artists who want to be independent and separate themselves from some of the ideals of the music business and record labels. In an interview last year, Noname said that she likes not being signed to a label, and plans to stay that way unless, for some reason, she sees it necessary for her career. Noname feels that having a label could restrict her creative process.

Throughout her life, Noname keeps a positive attitude and repeats the saying “Everything is Everything”. This quote is a way for Noname to keep things in perspective: the phrase can be found throughout her mixtape and various features including “Kale” by Joseph Chilliams, “Between Heaven and Hell” by E. Crow and “Never Leave Me” by Dreux Benson. “Everything is Everything” reflects the positive energy of Noname and her music. Even though Noname is not well-known, she deserves a lot of recognition for her deep lyrics, brilliantly-produced songs, and the passion she puts into her music.

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About the Writer
Zoe Culver, Eastside Culture Editor

Zoe Culver is a first-year editor for the Culture section of Eastside. In addition to writing for Eastside, Zoe participates in many clubs at East such...

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Chicago rap artist “Noname”, makes a name for herself with her latest mixtape, Telefone.