Sounds Like: An introspective conversation at a mid-August barbecue between Lauryn Hill, André 3000, and Jay Electronica
For Fans of: Chance the Rapper, Anderson Paak, Mick Jenkins
Why You Should Pay Attention: A frequent collaborator with Chance the Rapper (she appeared on both Acid Rap's "Lost" and Coloring Book's "Finish Line/Drown"), the Chicago artist's debut mixtape, Telefone, has gained a significant amount of attention since its July 31st release – including being asked to open the first three shows on Lauryn Hill's The MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling! Tour. Telefone is an online smash thanks to its neo-soul-based production, striking lyricism and guest appearances from Raury and Xavier Omar. Beginning her career as a rapper performing at cyphers and poetry slams in Chicago, Noname has spent the last few years honing her sound and sharpening her lyrics in order to cement her place in the rap game.
She Says: "I pretty much grew up in my grandparents house up until I was like 13. … My granny low-key only listens to gospel, Michael Jackson, and the blues. So that's kind of what I grew up listening to ... mainly the blues more so than anything." She dubs Nina Simone and Andre 3000 as her musical relatives lyrically, while stating that, "in terms of creativity, freedom of expression, and fearlessness, I'd definitely have to throw Missy Elliott in there. ... She is one of the most creative-minded artists ever."
Hear for Yourself: "All I Need" is slow and groovy neo-soul track backed by Xavier Omär. Raaziq Brown