Of all the new voices we’ve been introduced to from Chicago over the past several years, Noname’s has stood out as one of the most unique and promising, especially following the release last year's critically-acclaimed debut project Telefone.
Hailed by many as one of the standout projects of 2016, Telefone finally gave us a full, deep breath of Noname’s artistry after years of lingering on brief gasps of greatness in the forms of guest features and the occasional loosie. It was the project everyone had been waiting for since 2013 when her appearance on Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap sent her buzz skyrocketing.
It also only took her roughly a month to make.
Noname recently divulged in an interview with Redeye that although she initially announced Telefone back in 2013, it was a month-long studio session with fellow Chicagoans Saba and Phoelix, who were also working on Saba's debut Bucket List Project, that birthed her debut.
While it took me three years to put it out, actually making it took like a month.
Of course, it might take less time to physically craft an album when you’ve had three years to tediously plan it out, but later in the interview, it’s revealed that Noname had actually scrapped the entire original concept of the album. Woah.
The incredibly short creative duration of this project is staggering, especially in contrast to the overwhelming potency and quality of Telefone. But on another level, it’s Noname’s self-awareness and courage that make Telefone’s success even more praiseworthy.
Noname also detailed the pressure to put out a project right around the time she announced the start of work on Telefone, after the buzz surrounding her feature on Acid Rap had reached fever pitch. But she stuck to her guns and waited until the time was right. The decision is inarguable, and Noname knows it.
I'm just glad that I'd listened to myself and trusted myself because I could've put something out, but it wouldn't have been good! It wouldn't have been what I wanted it to be and what I knew I could do.
Having thoroughly enjoyed Telefone upon its initial release, I’m excited to go back and revisit Noname’s debut with the added knowledge that she was able to craft it in the time it takes me to actually get around to getting the oil changed in my car.
They say you can’t rush greatness, but sometimes all you need is the right timing.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: SNL