Rihanna, Noname, and Kendrick Lamar

Jeff Kravitz / Contributor via Getty Images, Tim Mosenfelder / Contributor via Getty Images, and Arturo Holmes/MG23 / Contributor via Getty Images

Noname Name-Drops Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, And More In "Namesake"

  /  08.11.2023

Today (Aug. 11), Noname dropped her new album Sundial. It marked a triumphant end to the five-year absence since her previous LP, Room 25.

One particular song, “namesake,” is already making noise online. Within the track, the Chicago rapper criticized industry giants like JAY-Z, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé for their affiliations with the National Football League (NFL) and performances at the Super Bowl.

In the record, Noname rapped, “Read in between the line at the crime scene. I ain’t f**kin’ with the NFL or JAY-Z. Propaganda for the military complex. The same gun that shot Lil Terry. Out West, the same gun that shot Senair in the West Bank. We all think the Super Bowl’s the best thing.”

The artist’s stance followed Hov’s 2019 partnership with the NFL as the league’s live music entertainment strategist. That collaboration came on the heels of significant controversy surrounding the latter’s treatment of its players, notably former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Listen to the song below.

Noname’s criticism extended to other artists as well, including Rihanna and Lamar. Both artists performed at the Super Bowl in recent years. In February, Rih revealed that she was expecting her second child during the halftime show. 

Notably, Noname even included a self-critique toward the end of the chorus. She spat, “Go, Rihanna, go. Watch the fighter jet fly high. War machine gets glamorized. We play the game to pass the time. Go, Beyoncé, go. Watch the fighter jet fly high. War machine gets glamorized. We play the game to pass the time. Go, Kendrick, go. Watch the fighter jet fly high.”

Particularly, Rihanna’s association with the NFL underwent a shift. Once refusing to perform at the Super Bowl in 2019, the Barbadian singer explained her change of heart to British Vogue

She revealed, “There’s still a lot of mending to be done in my eyes, but it’s powerful to break those doors and have representation at such a high, high level and a consistent level. Two Super Bowls back-to-back, you know, representing the urban community globally. It is powerful. It sends a really strong message.”


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