Noname may quit music, says she won’t perform for mostly white audiences

"I refuse to keep making music and putting it online for free for people who won’t support me"

Noname Quit Music White Audiences
Noname, photo by Julia Drummond

Noname is one of the most exciting rappers in the world right now, but over the last few days she’s taken to Twitter to vent her frustrations with fans and the music industry.

On November 20th, the Chicago artist posted and then deleted details about a new album, Factory Baby, as well as dropping a bomb: Noname may quit music following the album’s release.

“To be honest with you, my heart isn’t fully in it anymore,” Noname wrote. “The relationship between ‘artist’ and ‘fan’ is really fucking unhealthy. Yall like what y’all like and hate what y’all hate. And I don’t wanna be on either side. I’m just tryna read and organize. After factory baby it’s (peace sign emoji).”

Although the original post was later deleted, Noname has continued to tweet, and her words have reinforced the impression of an artist searching her soul.

On November 28th, Noname tweeted a picture of a woman in clown makeup. The caption read, “me consistently creating content that is primarily consumed by a white audience who would rather shit on me than challenge their liberalism because some how liking Lizzos music absolves them of racist tendencies.”

The next day, Noname clarified her thinking in a series of posts. In one, she wrote about how other artists have more diverse crowds than she does, using Megan Thee Stallion, DaBabay, and Smino as examples. In another, she said, “whats funny is most black artist are just as uncomfortable performing for majority white crowds but would never publicly say that out of fear and allegiance to” money.

She continued, “when I go to work, thousands of white people scream the word n**** at me. and no I’m not changing my art so it is what it is.”

Some of her most telling remarks came after one fan suggested, “the black demographic that likes your music isn’t really the concert going type (speaking from my own perspective) and that’s why you see white folks at your shows so much more.” Noname responded, “I’m not going to keep performing for predominantly white crowds. I have 2 shows on the books then after that I’m chilling on making music.”

“I refuse to keep making music and putting it online for free for people who won’t support me,” she added.

At a minimum, Noname has committed to continuing her book club. But the status of Factory Baby remains in doubt, as does her newly formed supergroup with Saba and Smino, Ghetto Sage. So far they have released one excellent song, “Häagen Dazs”. Noname’s Room 25 was one of our Top 100 Albums and Top 25 Hip-Hop and R&B Albums of the 2010s.