Noname – Room 25

“Maybe this the album you listen to in your car when you driving home late at night really questioning every god, religion, kanye, bitches..” Is the opening line to Noname’s highly anticipated sophomore album. And the bar goes hard.

In Noname’s first album telefone, she spoke a lot on her tales of growing up, lessons learned and an overall coming-of-age album but with Room 25, Noname has turned the page of a new chapter.

Opening the album with “Self,” the poetic rapper comes in very self aware, while in the last album it was the questioning of herself and absorption of the outside world, this latest album is the complete opposite. During the first few bars she smacks you with the “Y’all really thought a Bitch couldn’t rap, huh?” Jokingly letting them know that the opinions and outside views have come under question. “Self” as the first song alone comes in and knocks you straight in the eye, letting you know to stay aware and tune in to what’s to come with the raptress.

She has utilized her album as a platform to discuss what she has valued but hasn’t spoken about. In “Blaxploitation,” she samples many powerful speakers of the past but reminding listeners while her music in the past may have a more passive tone, this album is very assertive in presenting what she wants everyone to hear.

While the album meets a mix of jazz and “lovely day” funk, she also throws in some house music and modern jazz/hip hop mix.

Featuring some well known artists like Smino and Saba, she is still reaching back to her roots and her day ones to create the new phase of music that they’ve started together.

While I do love some of the songs in Room 25, I did not love it on the level of Telefone, at some points the album lost me and I didn’t vibe. It was a nice return for the Chicago native but something was truly missing for this album. My favorite songs were “Self” and “Blaxploitation.”

By Laken Horton

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