There are far too few female rappers being recognized for their talents. Last weekend, I saw an opening performance of the new Broadway musical “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” which employs the lyrics and music of Tupac Shakur to narrate a modern day tale of violence and community in urban Black America. The men blundered through the demanding repertoire of the legendary rapper’s catalogue and managed to kitschify and debase most of his prevailing messages and ideas. The women in the cast, adversely, were more than capable of approximating Tupac’s steely intensity and astute glibness–one of play’s few redeeming qualities.
The latest track from Chicago-based female rapper Noname Gypsy, “Take You Back,” had me thinking about these women. First widely recognized for her phenomenal feature on Chance the Rapper‘s “Lost,” Noname Gypsy has spent the past few years shrouded in anonymity, as if the recognition is positively secondary to the sheer act of creation. Produced by another Chicago native, THEMpeople, “Take You Back” features vocalists Akeyna and Via Rosa on this blissfully lethargic jazz-step number. Noname Gypsy recently removed all of the material on her SoundCloud page, save for this track. The grapevine telleth of a new, self-released mixtape to be dropped by Noname Gypsy later this month. Keep your ears peeled, and in the meantime watch a rare video of Noname Gypsy performing live for the Worsebehavior sessions below.