Fatimah Nyeema Warner (born September 18, 1991), known professionally as Noname, is an American rapper, poet, and record producer from the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. She began rapping and performing slam poetry in 2010, and gained wider recognition in 2013 for her appearance on the track "Lost" from Chance the Rapper's mixtape, Acid Rap.
Noname released her debut mixtape, Telefone, on July 31, 2016. Her debut album, Room 25, was released on September 14, 2018. She is member of the trio Ghetto Sage, with Smino and Saba.
Noname's interest in poetry led her to compete in local open mics and slam poetry competitions; she placed third place in Chicago's annual Louder Than a Bomb competition. Noname then started to freestyle rap with friends, collaborating with local Chicago artists including Chance the Rapper, Saba, Mick Jenkins, and Ramaj Eroc.
In 2013, she appeared on Chance the Rapper's second mixtape, Acid Rap, contributing a verse to the track "Lost" where she sang the chorus to the song as well as her own verse. She later contributed a verse for the song "Finish Line/Drown" from Chance the Rapper's 2016 mixtape Coloring Book. In December 2016, she appeared with Chance the Rapper on Saturday Night Live. She announced her first tour on November 13, 2016.
In 2014, she was featured on Mick Jenkins' mixtape The Waters, contributing to the track "Comfortable". In 2015, she was featured on multiple tracks from Kirk Knight's album Late Knight Special.
Noname first used the stage name "Noname Gypsy", which she chose as a teenager when she was transitioning from poetry to music, believing "gypsies were very nomadic, just not about staying in one space for a long time". In March 2016, she removed "Gypsy" from her stage name after learning of its racial connotation, saying she was unaware of the negative connotations of the term "gypsy" and did not want to offend Romani people. In a 2016 interview with The Fader, she explained her current stage name, following the change:
"I try to exist without binding myself to labels. I’m not really into labels at all, even the way I dress; I usually don't wear anything with a name brand. For me, not having a name expands my creativity. I’m able to do anything. Noname could potentially be a nurse, Noname could be a screenwriter. I’m not limited to any one category of art or other existence, on a more existential level."
Noname released her first mixtape, Telefone, on July 31, 2016, after three years production. Telefone was Noname's method of publicizing her new stage name, through songs presented as open-ended telephone conversations. The album is centered around important telephone conversations that Noname has had. Her rap speaks of black women's pain and also highlights the struggles of growing up in Chicago. The album was originally released as a free download on Bandcamp, and then on vinyl in September 2017.
Rolling Stone wrote it was one of 2016's "most thought-provoking hip-hop." Stereogum wrote that Noname possessed "a potency and urgency in her complicated, spoken word-esque cadences and subdued delivery that escapes many of her more animated peers." Consequence of Sound wrote that "the louder her music is played, the brighter her cadence glows, giving her lyrics a type of 3D craft that makes Telefone a diary of lessons too relevant to keep to yourself."
In October 2016, Noname and fellow Chicago resident Saba collaborated to produce "Church/Liquor Store", a song that explores the Westside of Chicago where liquor stores sit directly next to places of worship. Noname critiques the gentrification of the neighborhood and the erasure of crime believed to accompany it.
In August 2018, Noname announced that her second album, Room 25, would be released in the fall of 2018. The album, which took approximately one month to record, chronicles the two years since the release of Telefone, during which she moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, and had a short romantic relationship.
Noname compared her maturity on Room 25 to Telefone, saying "Telefone was a very PG record because I was very PG. I just hadn't had sex." Unlike Telefone, Room 25 was created due to a financial obligation. Noname said in an interview, "It came to a point where it was, like, I needed to make an album because I need to pay my rent. I could've done another Telefone tour, but I can't play those songs anymore. Like, I could, but I physically hate it because I've just been playing them for so long." Noname paid for the entire album herself using money from touring and guest appearances on Chance the Rapper projects.
The album was released on September 14, 2018. El Hunt of NME described the album as "flawless" and "smartly constructed and laced with intricate subtlety." Rolling Stone said Noname was "One of the best rappers alive" and included her on a list of "Artists You Need to Know". Pitchfork designated Room 25 as "Best New Music" and wrote that it is "a transcendent coming-of-age tale built around cosmic jazz and neo-soul, delivered by a woman deeply invested in her interiority and that of the world around her." PopMatters said the album was "vintage neo-soul and future rap hand in hand; a soulful sanctuary for those turned off by the austerity of mainstream mumble rap". She performed a three-song medley of "Blaxploitation," "Prayer Song," and "Don't Forget About Me" from the album in her solo television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on October 17, 2018.
On May 15, 2019, Noname announced that her upcoming second studio album would be titled Factory Baby. In November of that year that she said she was quitting music, and expressed frustration with her predominantly white audience. She went on to say that the demographics of her fanbase made her want to quit music: "I refuse to keep making music and putting it online for free for people who won’t support me. If y'all don't wanna leave the crib I feel it. I don't want to dance on a stage for white people."