Noname Explains Why People Shouldn’t Rely On Celebrities As Changemakers

Throughout much of her music, Noname takes on topics like racial justice and what it means to be a revolutionary. But along with making music, Noname actually practices what she preaches. She recently turned down the opportunity to write a song for HBO’s Judas And The Black Messiah film because she didn’t think it emphasized Fred Hampton’s revolutionary theories enough. Now, Noname is taking aim at the problem of idolizing celebrities in American culture.

Following the murder of George Floyd last summer, many people looked to celebrities and musicians to lead the fight for racial justice. But Noname disagrees with relying on celebrities to make structural and societal change. Why? Noname argues that celebrities fundamentally don’t have the interests of the working class in their minds. Sharing her thought to her Instagram Stories, Noname wrote:

“Every celebrity, entertainer, athlete, and public figure should be looked at as an enemy to the revolutionary potential of the people. Folks who hold these public positions rarely have class solidarity with working class people. They are always going to be ideologically and materially invested in U.S. capitalism because it keeps them rich. If you are inspired by the sh*t some of us say, cool. But don’t even think radical change is in our hands. Revolution comes from organized people. Join a radical organization. Preferably one that empowers all members to be leaders instead of orgs that highlight a few people as ‘leader.’ F*ck a celebrity.”

Continuing to explain her thought process, Noname said: “It is not totally impossible for a person with fame to align themselves with working class oppressed people (I like to believe I am walking in that tradition). But it is important to remember that those are a few individuals that exist in the petite bourgeoisie class. The masses of rich people in that class reproduce a liberal status quo. We might see them promote a democratic party of fascists but that’s about it.”

Read Noname’s opinion the the intersection of celebrity and revolution above.