Barely five years after releasing her debut mixtape, Noname is gearing up to drop what may be her last album ever, Factory Baby. Today, she’s teasing its release by sharing a new single called “Rainforest” featuring fellow Chicago rapper Adam Ness. Stream it below.
Clocking in just under three minutes in length, “Rainforest” is the latest track to showcase Noname’s unique mellow flow and her penchant for slick retro-themed beats. While the hook is seemingly a forlorn take on trust in relationships (“How you get closer to love?/ How you lemonade all your sadness when you opening up?”) the rest of the song concerns itself with the realities of hustle culture, the environmental ignorance of greed, and the intersection of capitalism and race.
Noname is one of the few modern rappers to imbue her music with miniature history lessons, hyper-aware realism, and socialist sentiments, and it would be sad to see her go. Back in 2019, she announced that Factory Baby will be her last record. “To be honest with you, my heart isn’t fully in it anymore… I’m just tryna read and organize,” she wrote. “I’m not going to keep performing for predominantly white crowds. I have 2 shows on the books then after that I’m chilling on making music.”
Factory Baby will be Noname’s second studio full-length following Room 25, her incredible 2018 record and one of the best albums of the 2010s. No key information about it has been released just yet, but she did hint that the record will drop sometime in 2021.
There’s no denying that Noname is one of the best rappers of the past decade, even if her output is comparatively small. Last year, she hopped on an Anderson .Paak remix and dropped the fiery comeback track “Song 33” after J. Cole tried to diss her. Apart from that, she’s been pouring the rest of her energy into organizing her excellent book club and doing on-the-ground political advocacy work, which you can follow along with online.