In my opinion, Noname may be one of today’s most underappreciated artists. A multi-talented artist, Noname showcases her creative, meaningful lyrics, and her soft, yet powerful voice on her 2016 album, “Telefone.” The song that best displays her talents is the opening song, “Yesterday.” It starts out soft, and crescendos into a steady drum beat that pulsates in the background, paired with muffled piano chords and glissandos to announce Noname’s rapping. As a Chicago native, Noname was first a poet, and clearly uses the skills she developed as a writer when she raps. In “Yesterday”, she reflects on what it is like to grow up as African American, and how money and fame will not make her forget where she is from. This is a common theme among many of the songs on her only released album. The first verse in “Yesterday” is the perfect way to introduce her album:
And I know
The money don’t really make me whole
The magazine cover’s drenched in gold
The dreams of granny in mansion and happy
The little thing’s that need to save my soul
After the first rap verse, the song subtly transitions into the chorus, where Noname’s soft, familiar vocals are layered by the soulful and echoey voices of her background singers.
“Yesterday” is one of the more mellow tracks on “Telefone”, along with “Freedom Interlude”, “Casket Pretty” and “Bye Bye Baby.” The mood of the track “Yesterday” has a relaxing vibe, one similar to a much needed rainy day after a long dry spell. The hushed vocals throughout the song are accented by the instruments, but are not drowned out in the background.
To close the song, each instrument starts to disappear one by one, until you are left with hearing nothing else but the raw vocals of Noname’s background singers. The sweet, five note hum effortlessly transitions into the next song on the album, “Sunny Duet.”
It starts out soft, and crescendos into a steady drum beat that pulsates in the background, paired with muffled piano chords and glissandos to announce Noname’s rapping.