January 22, 2023
By: TAI SAINT LOUIS
NONAME has challenged Black artists to band together to effect social change by limiting the amount of access they offer to their art through white-owned platforms.
the rapper and activist shared a long message divided into four images as a slideshow on Instagram. In it, Noname started with a statement about the myriad ways in which Black art can be accessed by white consumers.
“One of the biggest mistakes i believe we’ve made in our struggle towards liberation in this country is allwoing white america unfiltered access to our entire culture,” she wrote. “White america has created an institution of violent policing and medical neglect that is killing us EVERY FUCKING DAY. and every day we get on their platforms (tik tok, twitter etc) and we create trends, music, art and language that they turn into billions.”
After pointing out that she believes social media is sometimes manipulated by law enforcement officials, Noname called out the apathetic attitude white consumers seem to have when it comes to music “about the plight of living or the struggle to make it out.”
She went on to draw comparisons between Hip Hop and the evolution of Blues, adding that both genres have a predominantly white audience.
“Do yall never think, maybe white people don’t organize to end economic/racist exploitation that black people face simply because they love consuming the art we make out of survival,” the Chicago native suggested.
Rather than a complaint filled rant, however, Noname also included what she considered could be one solution to the perceived problem before asking fans to drop their thoughts in the comment.
“As black artists making black art, we have a responsibility to our community and to our culture,” she wrote. “I understand needing to survive under capitalism but there is power in collective action! what would it look like if we all said, unless festivals, streaming, social media puts 10% of their profits into a black community fund we use to house and feed people, we will no longer contribute our content.”
Anticipating questions from her followers, the ” Song 33″ rapper also addressed her own upcoming appearance at Coachella in the post simply titled “gate keeping.”
“I’m about to play coachella because i need the bread,” she explained. “Trust, i’m not above anybody but if there was a collective boycott where ALL black artists refuse to share our work unless we see radical change in our conditions, i would immediately do that shit.”
Noname’s words seemed to resonate with a number of her fans, garnering over 42,000 likes and over 1,100 comments in just eight hours. Before closing off the comments, the 31-year-old engaged in dialogue with those who offered their own thoughts about the idea of gatekeeping, and even those who challenged her position.
When one commenter brought up Coachella, Noname reiterated that she was not in a position to turn down work, reminding her followers that she had, in fact, stepped away from performing at one point.
“I stopped playing shows for yearsss! for the exact reason i’m talking about and nothing happened,” se responded. “I’m not a big enough artist for them to care. sorry but i’m not about to have my mom on the street unless EVERY artists willing to make that sacrifice. i almost [did] that shit and never again.”
Noname’s Coachella performance is set to take place on the same day as Frank Ocean‘s return to the stage for his first festival performance of the decade.
He will headline both Sundays and fans are already cooking up theories that he will release new music prior to the festival, which will make its way back to the Empire Polo Club in Indio for the weekends of April 14 to April 16 and April 21 to April 23.