Noname has shown she’s not afraid to hold some of the biggest names in music accountable.
Her five-year hiatus between projects left her with a slew of topics to address on her new album, Sundial. The first item up for discussion is several musicians’ alignment with the NFL. On her fiery Slimwave-produced track “Namesake,” Noname directly aims at Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Kendrick Lamar for lending their talents to the National Football League.
Noname doesn’t mince words in her diss when the track opens, rapping, “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 line, Noname calls out Jay-Z for entering into a partnership with the sports league despite the criticism it has faced over the treatment of its majority Black players, including former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Following in the line of attack, Noname turns her pen towards Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar, who at one point spoke out in support of Kaepernick’s sideline activism. Somehow, later they both performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. For Kendrick Lamar, that was in 2022. Rihanna was this year’s headliner. Beyoncé seemingly used her 2016 performance to advocate for police reform, but in the eyes of Noname, it is simply performative.
“Go, Rihanna, go! Watch the fighter jet fly high / War machine gets glamorized, we play the game to pass the time / Go, Beyoncé, go! Watch the fighter jet fly high / War machine gets glamorized, we play the game to pass the time / Go, Kendrick, go! Watch the fighter jet fly high / War machine gets glamorized, we play the game to pass the time,” raps Noname.
To be fair, those aren’t the only entertainers to feel Noname’s vicious sting. She also delivers a gut punch to herself in the line, “Go, Noname, go! Coachella stage got sanitized / I said I wouldn’t perform for them, and somehow I still fell in line f*ck!” No one is beyond reproach on the track, not even Noname.
Listen to the “Namesake” below.