Something to Listen to Today: Noname

Tomorrow works too

After getting back from my polling place this morning, I spent two hours jumping between different feeds and engaging with a stream of patriotic content as the nation slowly woke up and began taking selfies. For as much of a haunting anxiety spiral the campaigning process has been, the actual voting day itself seems marked with a lot of levity. It’s not noon yet, so who the F knows where I’ll be by 8 PM, but for the time being, I’m knee-deep in the best parts of what social media makes us feel: connected, supported, understood, engaged.

Historically, I have a pretty blasé attitude when it comes to participation-based activities. I didn’t “get” prom, I stopped reading Harry Potter after book 4 because “too many people were getting into it”—but here, today, are a lot of people giving a fuck in my feeds, and it feels so, so good to see. Moms with their babies, dudes alone at six AM—all of them, caring. But maybe your feeds are different than mine.

Maybe the people you went to high school with and your uncle Dave and your chatty coworker are vocal in a way that makes you feel discouraged. Maybe you are a member of the media and realizing how many people just don’t vote, ever, as a practice. If that’s the case, I have a really good album to check out. I can’t guarantee it will drown out the noise, but it’s worth a shot. It’s called “Telefone” and it’s by a 25-year-old rapper called Noname.

Here’s a profile of her if you’re the type of person who likes to know who the artist is before they ingest something. If you’ve listened to Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” mixtape, you’ve probably already heard Noname’s voice and don’t know it yet. She’s the lady on “Finish Line/Drown,” the second-to-last track.

It’s an album about being young and black and living in a city that’s facing unprecedented amounts of violence. It’s also gentle and beautiful and sweet—things it’d be cool for us to try to be for each other today. This world is stressful, and it’s good to be good to one another. This is me trying.