By Marlena Wadley
photo via Noname
Upon arrival, The Metro was filled with a swarm of fans dying to see Chicago rapper Noname bless the stage at the first
I arrived in the middle of
After the band set up, Akenya—who doubles as Noname’s music director—hit the keys, as the crowd roared. The movie Carmen Jones was silently projected against the wall behind the stage, starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte, as the beat of “Sunday Duet” played out.
As Noname walked on stage, the crowd rumbled with excitement. Her subtle dancing, cute plaid skirt, and tennis shoes all contributed to her quirky performance. Noname made herself more comfortable on stage, bringing her mom’s lamp, chair, table, and a bottle of Maker’s Mark accompanied her. Though she was playing in her city, she still wanted the stage to feel like home.
Some bopping, the famous “Big Worm” scene from
A pivotal moment and shift in the mood took place once “Casket Pretty” was performed. A song highlighting the violence in Chicago, it juxtaposes that with the city’s beauty, “All of my niggas is casket pretty, ain’t no one safe in this happy city.” Her set took a dramatic turn as the band quietly stopped, the audience silent as everyone soaks up the deeper meaning.
Noname left the crowd nostalgic as she played some of her older cuts, including her brilliant verse from Chance the Rapper’s song “Lost,” and shocked the
audience with a surprise appearance from Mick Jenkins, who performed “Comfortable” with her. After the crowd exploded with a chant for an encore, she
came back out with St. Louis rapper