Noname ushers in a new vanguard on “Song 33.” The rapper and bookworm released the single Thursday. It is her first of the year.
She dismisses the demon of patriarchy during the brief track, where she calls out hip-hop for being “quiet as a church mouse,” as Black women are being slaughtered at the hands of their men.
“One girl missing another one go missing/One girl missing another,” she chants repeatedly during the one minute and ten second track.
“Why Toyin body don’t embody all the life she wanted?/ A baby just 19/I know Dream all black/I seen her everything immortalized in tweets/ All caps,” she rapped referencing the death of Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau.
Salau is a Black Lives Matter activist who went missing after tweeting about her sexual assault. Even though the teenager found the courage to share the address of her assailant, no one intervened to protect her. She was found dead days later.
Despite his name being absent from the song fans think the single is a clapback at J. Cole for his alleged tone shaming of Noname’s tweets criticizing top rappers in his recently released “Snow On The Bluff.”
“He really bout to write about me/When the world is in smokes/ When it’s people in trees?/When George begging for his mother saying he couldn’t breathe/You thought to write about me,” she rapped.
Prior to releasing the song she tweeted the phrase “Queen Tone,” from Cole’s lyrics and deleted it shortly after.
Cole did not confirm fans assumptions that the song was about Noname.
“Some assume to know who the song is about. That’s fine with me, it’s not my job to tell anybody what to think or feel about the work. I accept all conversation and criticisms,” he tweeted.
He went on to express respect and affection for Noname. He tweeted “Song 33” to his followers and encouraged them to listen to her perspective.
“Follow @noname. I love and honor her as a leader in these times. She has done and is doing the reading and the listening and the learning on the path that she truly believes is the correct one for our people,” he wrote.