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Album Review: ‘Room 25’

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Album Review: ‘Room 25’

Phoelix

Phoelix

Phoelix

Dairian Bowles, Staff Writer

Chicago rapper Noname, formerly known as Noname Gypsy, has released her long awaited second album following the positive reception of her first venture, Telefone, back in 2016. After such a long wait for another project the question is, was it worth the wait?

In short, yes, the album was well worth the wait. Like many of her contemporaries rising in the Chicago jazz-rap/ conscious hip hop scene, such as Chance The Rapper, Mick Jenkins, and Saba, Noname continues the trend of rapping over soulful jazzy instrumentals.

Much like her first album Noname retains her calm disposition and delivery. Much like her beats, she remains serene as she glides over the buttery instrumentals. Luckily Noname sought to do more than merely deliver the same songs from “Telefone” repainted to seem different.

The album begins with the song “Self,” which features a sweet melody in the instrumental  while Noname quickly jumps over multiple topics ranging from religion to politics to personal issues. It seems that these are topics Noname wants the listener to ponder over as they experience the album.

After this the song “Blaxploitation” presents a much livelier and bouncier beat, switching the pace set by the previous song, the song also features another soulful voice singing. She touches on many topics but continually brings up issues of race, and a sample on the song discusses police profiling and brutality.

The trend continues as Noname continues to discuss her personal life, issues of race and political issues. As the album continues, the soulful beats and singing remains prevalent, as she brings in singers such as D’angelo on “Don’t Forget About Me,” Ravyn Lenae on “Montego Bae,” and Smino on “Ace.”

Guitar samples are heavily prevalent throughout the production as well, especially on the song “Don’t Forget About Me.”

With these features Noname is able to conjure up the magic that made “Telefone” such an enjoyable experience. Throughout this album, with her discussions of the world at large, herself, and others, Noname is able to create another beautiful addition to the “conscious rap” catalogue.

The album borderlines on pure poetry as Noname spins glorious, heartfelt tales and uses her lyrics to etch images into the listeners’ mind. She is able to deliver serene songs on this album but is also able to venture out into more jazzy upbeat production. Although throughout the album Noname maintains her somber tone and the music stays as serene and calming as possible.

Noname’s new album was worth the wait and deserves to be listened to any who are interested in listening to meaningful, personal music with serene production.

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