In late 2019, shortly after Chicago rapper and activist Noname initially announced that Factory Baby, the follow up to 2018’s wildly praised 25, would be out in 2020, she started insinuating that perhaps her “heart isn’t fully in it anymore.” She tweeted back then about how she felt that “the relationship between ‘artist’ and ‘fan’ is really f*cking 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).”
After some delays and uhhhh…a freakin’ pandemic, she released the track “Rainforest” in early 2021, a sleek but pleading track that saw her voicing her displeasure for her mind state and the state of the world in general. It was presumably the first single from Factory Baby. But that’s been it from Noname musically ever since — and yesterday, she confirmed that it could very well be the last piece of music she ever releases.
In a post on her Instagram story, Noname opened up about how empty she feels musically and how it has become increasingly difficult to create. With a picture of herself, she posted a lengthy caption that read:
“Most days I’m not sure if I’ll ever make music again,” she said. “The last time I was consistently making songs was 4 years ago. It’s been so hard to find producers to link up with and who I genuinely connect with sonically. I’m truly grateful for the art I was able to release but that might be it from me. Like it shouldn’t be this hard. No like this shit actually makes me incredibly sad and I rarely leave the crib these days. I don’t want to keep lying and saying there’s an album on the way when there’s not. I’m sorry I’ve led y’all on. I wanted to believe things would change but they haven’t.”
It’s a bummer. There’s really no other way to say it. Noname has been a welcome and vital voice out of the Chicago rap scene that surged in the mid 2010’s and blossomed big time from there. Her Noname Book Club helps raise POC voices with their picks and also uses funds raised to send books to incarcerated people. It secured a physical HQ earlier this year. It’s been a rough two years all around and here’s hoping that whatever Noname chooses to do moving forward, is something that makes her truly happy and fulfilled.