Noname calls on artists to ‘start gatekeeping’ black art

No name have challenged black artists to band together to effect social change by limiting the amount of access they offer to their art through white-owned platforms.

On Thursday (Jan. 19), the rapper and activist shared a long message divided into four images as a slideshow on Instagram. In it, Noname began with a statement about the myriad ways in which black art can be accessed by white consumers.

“One of the biggest mistakes I believe we have made in our struggle for 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 kills us EVERY DAMN DAY. and every day we enter their platforms (tik tok, twitter, etc.) and we create trends, music, art and language , which they turn into billions.”

After pointing out that she believes social media is sometimes manipulated by law enforcement officials, Noname highlighted the apathetic attitude white consumers seem to have when it comes to music “about the plight of life or the struggle to make it.”

She went on to compare Hip Hop and the development of the Blues, adding that both genres have a predominantly white audience.

“Don’t you ever think, maybe white people aren’t organizing to stop economic/racist exploitation that black people face simply because they love to consume the art we make out of survival,” suggested the Chicago native.

Instead of a plaintive rant, however, Noname also included what she thought could be a solution to the perceived problem before asking fans to drop their thoughts in the comments.

“As black artists making black art, we have a responsibility to our society and our culture,” she wrote. “I understand the need 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 put 10% of their profits into a black community fund we use for to house and feed people, we will no longer contribute our content.”

Expecting questions from her followers, the “Song 33” rapper also addressed her own upcoming performance at Coachella in the post simply titled “gate keeping”.

“I’m about to play Coachella because I need the bread,” she explained. “Guess I’m not above anyone, but if there was a collective boycott where ALL black artists refuse to share our work unless we see a radical change in our relationship, I’d immediately do the shit.”

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Noname’s words seemed to resonate with a number of her fans, garnering over 42,000 likes and over 1,100 comments in just eight hours. Before closing the comments, the 31-year-old engaged in dialogue with those who offered their own thoughts on the idea of ​​gatekeeping, and even those who challenged her position.

When a commenter brought up Coachella, Noname reiterated that she was unable to turn down work and reminded her followers that she had actually walked away from performing at one point.

“I stopped playing shows for years! for the exact reason I’m talking about and nothing happened,” he replied. “I’m not a big enough artist for them to care. sorry but I’m not about to have my mother on the street unless ALL artists are willing to sacrifice that. and almost [did] that shit and never again.”

Noname’s Coachella performance is set to take place on the same day as Frank Ocean‘s return to the stage for his first festival appearance of the decade.

He’ll headline both Sundays, and fans are already theorizing that he’ll release new music ahead of the festival, which will return to the Empire Polo Club in Indio on the weekends of April 14 through April 16 and April 21 through April 23.

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