Who is Noname? I’ve Heard that Name Before.

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Courtesy of Nonamehiding.com

 

You may not have heard too much about Chicago lyricist Noname, formerly known as Noname Gypsy. One of the main reasons for her lack of appropriate buzz until now is due to the fact that she hasn’t really been on the music scene much before she dropped her first official project, “Telefone” a month ago. Noname had some initial buzz before her project back in 2013 when she was featured on “Lost“,  a song from Chance The Rapper’s breakout mixtape “Acid Rap“. That feature was the song that formally introduced Noname, known as Noname Gypsy at that time, to the wonderful world of hip-hop.

“Telefone” was a project that fans of the 24 year old lyricist have been waiting on ever since her acclaimed feature from “Acid Rap”. They didn’t get the project but instead did get some music from Noname in the meantime and between time. Certain singles such as “Hold Me Up“, “Samaritan“, and another feature on a Chance single “Israel (Sparring)“held fans over until Noname’s long awaited debut. There is actually a playlist of a few Noname tracks on YouTube from a user by the name of A$AP Tyler, The Sweatshirt called “What the f*ck is a noname gypsy.” The playlist is two years old, but a majority of the Chicago rapper’s work is there.

When it comes to “Telefone”, Noname finds a way to put you in all the feels in only 33 minutes. From happy summertime with “Diddy Bop”, to community activist on “Casket Pretty”, to regret and sadness with arguably the most topic heavy song on the project, “Bye Bye Baby”. The poet introduces herself through her first project by letting you know who she is. Noname, whose given name is Fatimah Warner, reminds you of the cute girl who keeps to herself but is high-key popping. Her approach to her tracks aren’t really too high energy so you’re almost immediately thrown in a vibe. The emcee’s selection of production perfectly compliments her laid back persona. The features are on point as well with appearances from frequent collaborators Saba and Akenya as well as artist like the Mind, Raury, and Cam O’bi.

Noname’s new ten track project is a melodic culmination of jazzy boom-bap, smooth vocals, and poetic lyricism. It makes you feel like you’re back reliving your childhood with the artist at times, while making you aware of the good and the bad that comes with living in the inner city of Chicago. In other words, “Telefone” is perfectly dope.

Album Review: “The Sun’s Tirade”

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Courtesy of TDE

Isaiah Rashad is finally back. Thank the hip-hop gods. The TDE member gives us his follow up to Cilvia Demo with his sophomore project The Sun’s Tirade.  Riddled with 70’s and 90’s vibes, Rashad opens up with his listeners being even more transparent about his struggles than his previous album. The 25 year old Chattanooga lyricist speaks on personal topics ranging from his late grandmother , to his 25th birthday , to long distance love and the heavy use of drugs to cope with his emptiness.

From start to finish, listeners can hear the maturity of Rashad and how he’s grown over his two year hiatus from the microphone. Standouts on the album include Park , Dressed Like Rappers , and Find a Topic (homies begged).The most impressive thing about the TDE emcee’s new album is the versatility of flow. The majority of the album can be considered vibes with a few exceptions such as A Lot , Don’t Matter, and Aa. Although most of his album is chill, the syncopation of rhymes and rhyme scheme seems to change a good bit throughout Rashad’s tracks. Whether the song is one that has more of an up tempo like “Don’t Matter” or more laid back instrumentals like “4r Da Squaw”, Zaywop’s tone is always present.

Another gem on this project is the recordings in between some of the tracks. The first recording on “where u at?” is a voicemail from TDE label mate Schoolboy Q. The other recordings come from Top Dawg producer Dave Free. He talks about how sporadic in topic Rashad seems at times, to how the rapper being born in 1991 is “creepy” due to sexual subject matter he speaks on from time to time, to Free’s dad thinking he was involved in “runnin’ in somebody’s house.”

Since Rashad is a product of Southern hip-hop, he’s not hesitant to channel Southern rappers of “old” such as Outkast, Goodie Mob, Scarface and the like. On his previous album, a good number of listeners compared his delivery and production to the OGs of the South like Webbie and Boosie in terms of the grit he had when talking about his upbringing or his hometown of Chattanooga. Rashad’s Tennessee roots are still apparent throughout “The Sun’s Tirade” especially in “Rope//rosegold”. Isaiah Rashad has this really amazing talent to where he’s like a bridge between the old school lyrical greats we admire as fans of the art of hip-hop all the while keeping his music modern with the perfect blend of production and attention to detail. It’s nice to have him back and see the progression. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

 

12 Essential Isaiah Rashad Tracks in Prelude to His New Album

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YouTube.com

It’s been two years, seven months, and three days since TDE representative Isaiah Rashad released a new project. That’s 81, 907,200 seconds. 1,365,725 hours. 135 weeks. I think I speak for every Zaywop fan when I say we have been waiting for this album ever since the outro of “Cilvia Demo“. The Chattanooga, TN rapper has been keeping a lot of his material close to the vest with his cryptic moves, keeping his fans on the edge of their seats. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, Billy Batson drops “Free Lunch“. Zay does what he normally does on the melodic and jazzy beat selection cooked up by producer Cam O’bi with broken rhyme schemes and nostalgic southern jargon. The most exciting part of the new music video happens in the last few seconds of the song which simply reads: “09.02.16”.

With only one project published in 2009, Rashad started to garner his buzz in 2013 when TDE president, Dave Free signed him to the Top Dawg label. He didn’t release his first official project under the label until 2014 with “Cilvia Demo”. Since the album quality EP, Billy Batson has only dropped three singles within a two year time span. Thankfully, the good people over at Top Dawg Entertainment have been plotting a solid Q4 takeover, especially with all the label mates looking to drop projects one after another .

To hold you over until the real deal, I compiled a soundcloud playlist of essential Zaywop tracks that will show the evolution of the Chattanooga, TN, native whilst getting you excited for his latest hiphop offering. I hope the new project is worth the wait: 

  1. ’95
  2. Fake Trill
  3. GUSTO
  4. Hurt Cobaine
  5. RIP Kevin Miller
  6. Free Lunch
  7. Webbie Flow (U Like)
  8. Banana
  9. Soliloquy
  10. Like That
  11. Khaki
  12. Sydney Jones

Soar Losers’ Tre Redeau: The Sound PDX Hiphop Needs

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Photo courtesy of Instagram via iamtreredeau

In a city filled with hipsters, bars, recycle bins and zero emission vehicles, I find myself in uncharted waters. I, Vader The Visionary, a native Mississippian am lost in downtown Portland, Oregon trying to find one of the few clubs/bars where I can hang out and listen music that resonates with my ratchet soul. Not to say that I can’t get jiggy with some alt-rock, indie, or EDM because when the mood is right, I’ll fist pump and rage with the best of the best. More times than not, I’m a creature of habit and I enjoy my comfort genre of hiphop.

Admittedly, I wasn’t too surprised when I couldn’t find a good FM radio station with the local hiphop artist being broadcasted due to the fact that I’m in the whitest city in “progressive” America. Outraged and determined, I started my search for good rap music in the City of Roses. Much to my hallelujah, I came across 24-year-old PDX native Tre Redeau.

Not only was I relieved that I found the small percentage of African-Americans in this eco-friendly city, I was also relieved to learn that there is actually quite a bevy of hiphop  talent in Portland. At first glance, Tre seemed like a regular Black Portlander: Stylish clothes with a rain jacket (it rains like crazy here in the Pacific Northwest). When I took a seat and popped my ear buds in with Redeau’s most recent project “Kool-Aid Stand”, I was immediately hit by lyrics from the first song “Rounds” where the Rose City emcee reintroduced himself. Before deciding to take his given name for his stage name, one could have found Tre under the alias of Blaze (pronounced BLAH-ZAY).

What was equally impressive about Redeau was his record label Soar Losers. The PDX super team consist of artists Myke Bogan, Manny MondayyT $poon and Vinnie Dewayne with producer Stewart Villain.  Their most notable collaborative song to date is “The Anthem” with a memorable opening line from Tre: “If the Blazers been winning, who the losers? Wait, that’s us”.

The song from the 45 minute project that started to garner Redeau some national notoriety and gave him more ears was his track “Doja“, with a feature from Funk Volume founder himself, Dizzy Wright. Tre’s style seems effortless as he weaves syncopated rhymes in and out of each other. By listening to him, it’s easy to tell that he is not only an artist, but a fan of past and current artist as well as the culture of hiphop itself.

My personal favorites from Tre’s project was “The Anthem”, “Catch Me/Hell on Earth”, and “Definition of Real”. The latter two tracks shows the lyrical depth and transparency that Redeau possesses. It’s been a year since the 503 lyricist has let go of any new tracks or anything of the like, but two weeks ago a simple Instagram post leaves us on the edge of our seats with a one word caption: “Coming.”

Stream Tre Redeau’s “Kool-Aid Stand” here and be sure to stay up to date with him on social media @IamTreRedeau and on his website TreRedeau.com.