Noname: Song 33

With references to George Floyd and Toyin Salau, “Song 33” by rapper, poet, producer and activist Noname is presumably a response to J Cole’s recent, widely lambasted release, on which he criticizes and tone-polices her. Over the mellow Madlib-produced beat, Noname (aka Fatimah Warner) meditates, “Wow, look at him go / He really ’bout to write about me while the world is in smokes? / When his people in trees, when George was begging for his mother, saying he couldn’t breathe / you thought to write about me?” While the song sounds laidback, Noname’s lyrics are powerful, resulting in a perfectly succinct one-minute response.