In 2016 I would listen to the record Telefone by Noname when walking in mornings often. It is an easy smooth rap record, good not great. It did show signs of greatness though. Noname has great writing ability and wry sense of humor. Her rapping and rhyming were solid if not quite great yet. Her 2018 record Room 25 is fulfills that promise. It didn’t get a huge amount of notice in 2018 from rap audiences despite her association with mega-star Chance the Rapper. The content is basically tales of a girl from Chicago living in Los Angeles navigating relationships and the industry. There is sexual content and imagery which is much different than Telefone. The guest vocals are timed well and enhance the record greatly. The music and rapping are purposefully slightly low-key and the lyrics and rhyming are intricate. It definitely feels like a Chicago hip-hop record, with lots slam poetry style rapping and lots great lush jazz style arrangements. I know when Noname toured the record she sold out places like the Orange Peel in Asheville, but she expressed disappointment at the audiences being all white and didn’t have a strong desire to ‘dance on a stage for white people.’ She also expressed interest in quitting if this continues to be the case. I hope that doesn’t come to be and her audience expands and is a broad as she would like it to be. She is a unique talent and I think many people hope to hear more from her. It would be a shame to lose her voice in hip-hop.