Review by Hayley Clark with Photography by Bianca Barrett

The sassy student crowd filled the Institute, waiting eagerly for one of the most promising rappers to come out of Chicago for a long time as Noname brought her sell out Room 25 tour to Birmingham.

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A dim blue glow came from the stage enhancing the intimate atmosphere of the venue on the second date of her tour. This has has come in a week where there has been some amazing musical talent hit the second city.

The buzz from the crowd is electrifying as theMIND took to the stage to warm up the temperature.

His soulful tones encountered rapturous applause as his vocal flexibility shone alongside his audience interaction, asking the crowd to jump and encouraging them to “bounce”. The Chicago born artist had the audience engaged from the start, both new and old fans cheering as he treated them to tracks from his 2016 EP ‘Summer Camp’. theMIND is definitely one to keep an eye out for, reminiscent of a cross between Kendrick, Akon and those sultry tones T-Pain shows off on The Masked Singer. The crowd threw their hands up in the air hanging on his every word as he lapped up the energy, drawing his energetic set to a close the sell out crowd are clearly hyped up ready for Noname.

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As Noname appears to whoops and cheers, the crowd go absolutely nuts for her, within the first track I could conclude my review with just four words as I’m literally left speechless by what is happening on stage “Innovative, immense and extremely talented”.

On a serious note, I can imagine that seeing Noname perform is like the feeling the judges get on The Voice when they hear someone amazing and press their buttons to turn around and are spellbound by the talent before them. Surprisingly at 26, the Chicago born starlet looks around ten years younger. Her youthful glow lights up the room and her beautiful smile shines as she addresses the audience in appreciation “Wow, I can’t believe your all here to see me”.

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Like a modern day prophet Noname’s words flow from her, addressing everyday issues with her poignant lyrics, showing that Atlanta’s hip hop pioneers Goodie Mob are not the only ones who can include lyrics about fried chicken and macaroni cheese and still produce an amazing track that teaches you about life.

The Institute is rocking as she takes control of the crowd, wowing them all as she bursts into ‘Self’ and ‘Blaxploitation’, waving their hands in the air and feeling the poetry coming from the stage. Reciprocal of their love, she beams and coyly smiles at her fans. She takes them on a journey of real life and love tonight, not afraid to tackle real issues, she oozes talent at such a high level.

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The energy at the Institute is electrifying as the sell out crowd feel the love, singing along word for word spellbound by her voice. She teases the audience with latest offering ‘Song 31’ and she stages a competition getting their opinions on what they like in her lyrics, it didn’t work too well as it was hard to hear and we were just too excited to see her live on the third of just four UK gigs for her ‘Room 25’ tour.

Her cuteness engulfs the stage as she confesses to her adoring crowd how she thought someone had given her a bad batch of weed in Manchester and enquired as to what it’s called in Birmingham, causing them to giggle at her honesty.

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With so much about this American starlet and the evolution of female rappers recently, Noname is ‘up there’ with tonight’s audience, with her immense talent and likeable stage presence it’s easy to see how audiences have literally been gushing about her. From start to finish she captivates them, taking them on a journey of real life and love. It’s easy to understand why fans have travelled from across the UK for tonight’s show to see this wonderful gem perform.

With tracks like ‘Window’ and ‘Be My Baby’ Noname’s lovable presence shines, like a young Lauryn Hill, her passion oozes as she lays down her poetry leaving the audience spellbound. A she goes on to support Anderson .Paak over the summer Noname is going to be the name on everyone’s lips very soon, as she sends crowds into joyful hysteria like she did tonight.

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