We’ve all seen this go down too often to not be used to it or to still act surprised and furiously glance around us to see who else feels the same way whenever it happens.
You know: the months (and in some unfortunate cases, years) involving the pushing back of music project release dates, the adjusting of tracklists and the very likely epic debacle that could be the project never seeing its release at all. It’s a torturous game of breath-holding to go through. Stans have it the worst.
In August last year, I wrote an opinion piece that saw me reciting Noname lyrics and briefly discussing how the verses are great examples of particular qualities that I saw in her rap abilities and approach. Lines from Mary Jane Love‘s first verse were quoted to highlight Noname’s constant deviation from the jaded content that we get from may women in rap and the redundant expectations that are actually set for women’s content in rap. “You’re a female rapper, don’t rap about that shit / You’re supposed to be a bad bitch, or at least a little confident” Noname spits over a Miles Davis sample on Samaritan, a verse that essentially became the basis of the article. The piece started with me saying:
If lush extended metaphors, sarcasm and alliteration creating flows in the rarest forms were one track, then Noname is years deep into HYPE Magazine’s music submission emails. There is so much depth to this artist that one only wishes to come across. It’s her ability to captivate her listener and leave them wanting more that is day by day building a nation of loyal Noname supporters – me included.
But in my growing frustrstion with the mind games being played concerning the release of Telefone, I’ve begun to question exactly how deep my loyalty to this nation – that I’m apparently a part of – might really run. I mean, if Noname pulled a Frank Ocean on her fans, how readily would I be at her defense when a swarm of memes and strongly-worded tweets fly at her Twitter account, defeating any hope of a comeback to restore her honour? Would I be a part of the meme and tweet throwing? It’s possible. Would I feel bad for it? Probably not. Would I just want Telefone? Indefinitely.
The art of building anticipation for the release of any major project without a release date can be a tricky one. In the successful situations, how one simultaneously keeps the audience on their toes with excitement while eliminating any hints of anger from them is something I’ve always been amazed at. But for me, though, I always worry about where I will be when the project finally comes. If the hyping up is long-winded, will I still care? Will I still be in the same place, mentally, that created such a strong emotional connection between me and the artist? And that’s my concern with Telefone.
In the past few months we’ve seen the release of many Noname features and tracks – more notably Israel and All I Need – that have kept most of her fans alive. But I haven’t been able to help but allow what was months of excitement and the regular searching for leaks surprise drops, simmer down to complete insouciance. And at this rate, my interest will only steadily decrease.
For my sanity, I hope this mixtape comes soonest.