Noname has returned, and he is more radical than ever. Her five-year gap between albums presented her with a bevy of issues to tackle on her new album, Sundial. The first topic of debate is the NFL’s affiliation with many singers.
On her ferocious Slimwave-produced tune “Namesake,” Noname takes direct aim at Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Kendrick Lamar for lending their skills to the National Football League.
When the song begins, Noname says, “Read in between the line at the crime scene / I ain’t f*cking with the NFL or Jay-Z / Propaganda for the military complex, the same gun that shot lil’ Terry / Out West, the same gun that shot Senair in the West Bank / We all think the Super Bowl is the best thing.”
In this statement, Noname criticizes Jay-Z for partnering with the sports league despite the criticism the league has received for its treatment of its predominantly Black players, particularly former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Noname then turns her pen to Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar, both of whom have spoken out in support of Kaepernick’s sideline activism. They both later appeared in the Super Bowl Halftime Show. That was in the year 2022 for Kendrick Lamar.
This year’s headliner was Rihanna. Beyoncé appeared to utilize her 2016 performance to call for police reform, but Noname saw it as just theatrical.
“Rihanna, go!” Watch the fighter aircraft soar / War machine becomes glamorized, we play the game to kill time / Go, Beyoncé, go! Watch the fighter aircraft fly high / War machine becomes glamorized, we play the game to kill time / Go, Kendrick! Noname raps, “Watch the fighter jet fly high / War machine gets glamorized, we play the game to pass the time.”
To be honest, those aren’t the only performers who have felt Noname’s venomous sting. In the phrase “Go, Noname, go!” she also delivers a gut punch to herself. The Coachella stage was cleaned / I swore I wasn’t going to play for them, and yet I still fell in line f*ck!” On the track, no one is beyond blame, not even Noname.