Fatimah Nyeema Warner, better known as Noname, is back in the studio. Some fans noticed the Chicago rapper’s name on the recently released Pitchfork Festival lineup, which came as a surprise after she previously announced an indefinite hiatus in December. Noname sparked further speculation and excitement with an Instagram post captioned “maybe 30 is too early to retire.” In the photo, Noname takes a mirror selfie next to her minimalist desktop recording setup, microphone clearly in view.
Noname has considered stepping away from performing and recording for several years now. In 2019, the rapper made a series of since-deleted tweets sharing her frustrations of performing in front of “predominantly white crowds” and the state of the music industry. “To be honest with you, my heart isn’t fully in it anymore,” said one tweet.
Nonetheless, Noname was placed in the spotlight again in 2020 after a highly publicized feud with J. Cole. For his first release of the year, the rapper released “Snow In Tha Bluff,” which seemed to criticize Noname’s activism. She responded with the Madlib-produced “Song 33,” rebutting all of Cole’s claims. Shortly after this exchange, she did an interview with Desus & Mero, explaining that her music was put on pause to focus on her book club that encourages discussion and donates educational texts to incarcerated people.
In between these events, Noname appeared on the “Lockdown” remix by Anderson .Paak and shared a collaboration with Adam Ness titled “Rainforest.” The latter was intended to be a single off her highly anticipated sophomore album Factory Baby, but she took to Instagram in December of 2021 to announce that the album was canceled. In a screenshot obtained by HotNewHipHop, Noname said “most days I’m unsure if I’ll ever make music again.”
Noname has been busy in the meantime, and most recently shared that her book club has sent almost 800 books to her incarcerated members.
Below, revisit her latest single “Rainforest.” You can join Noname’s bookclub here.