Noname recently made a powerful statement on Instagram, as she urged Black artists to gatekeep their art. Moreover, she shared some statements on Thursday (January 19) about how Black art is exploited by white audiences or white-owned mediums. While the Chicago native paused her music career, she continues to engage in important and impactful activism, action, and dialogue.
“One of the biggest mistakes i believe we’ve made in our struggle towards liberation in this country is allowing white america unfiltered access to our entire culture,” she wrote. “White america has created an institution of violent policing and medical neglect that is killing us EVERY F***ING DAY. and every day we get on their platforms (tik tok, twitter etc.) and we create trends, music, art and language that they turn into billions.
“Twitter admits in their guidelines that they disclose account information to law enforcement,” she continued. “They literally are the police. We do not own Black culture. We create it.”
Moreover, she connected the exploitation of hip-hop today to the evolution of blues and jazz music in U.S. history.
“Do yall never think, maybe white people don’t organize to end economic/racist exploitation that black people face simply because they love consuming the art we make out of survival,” the Room 25 rapper stated. However, her statement was more nuanced than skeptics likely assume.
“As black artists making black art, we have a responsibility to our community and to our culture,” she expressed. “I understand needing to survive under capitalism but there is power in collective action! what would it look like if we all said, unless festivals, streaming, social media puts 10% of their profits into a black community fund we use to house and feed people, we will no longer contribute our content.
“I’m about to play coachella because i need the bread,” she went on. “Trust, i’m not above anybody but if there was a collective boycott where ALL black artists refuse to share our work unless we see radical change in our conditions, i would immediately do that s**t.”
Furthermore, she engaged in a respectful back-and forth in the comments, even if they weren’t returning respect in kind. For example, for those quick to judge her Coachella appearance, she revealed some hardened circumstances.
“I stopped playing shows for yearsss! for the exact reason i’m talking about and nothing happened,” the 31-year-old responded to one user. “I’m not a big enough artist for them to care. Sorry but i’m not about to have my mom on the street unless EVERY artists willing to make that sacrifice. I almost [did] that shit and never again.”
Regardless, what do you think of Noname’s call to Black artists to gatekeep their work? Whatever the case, let us know in the comments down below.
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