Noname has morphed into one of hip-hop’s most politically radical figures. It was this understanding of social politics that stopped her from participating in the soundtrack of the upcoming movie centered around Fred Hampton’s murder, Judas and the Black Messiah.
The tracklist for the Judas And The Black Messiah’s soundtrack arrived on Tuesday. Although there are outside talents like Jay-Z, Nas, and Nipsey Hussle, the project allows for Chicago natives like Bump J, G Herbo, Polo G, and others to pay homage to a fellow son of the Windy City. Yet, Chicago’s Noname was missing from the features. This, however, was on purpose.
“what’s crazy is they asked,” Noname said to a fan trolling her about being absent from the soundtrack. “i was supposed to be on the song with saba and (smino) but after seeing the movie i decided to pass.”
Although Smino is unapologetically from St. Louis, he has a deep connection to Chicago leading him to join forces with Chicagoans Saba and Noname for their rap collective, Ghetto Sage. Ghetto Sage was supposed to appear on the song “Plead the .45,” but Noname felt like the film watered down Fred Hampton’s presence and politics.
“i hope people actually go study fred hampton’s analysis on u.s imperialism and fascism beyond just seeing a movie,” she wrote in a now-deleted tweet along with offering a passage of Hampton’s views on social reform. “most of his politics were stripped from that film.” She then offered her synopsis of the movie.
“it was shot beautifully, the acting was amazing. but it’s a movie about an informant. fred is secondary and his radical communist politics are centered, at all.”
Although Fred Hampton is a focal point of the film, the movie was never billed as a strict biopic. It is meant to explain how FBI informant, William O’Neal, helped authorities infiltrate Illinois Black Panther Party leading to the chairman’s death. Despite this, the direction of the film didn’t sit well with Noname prompting her to remove herself from the soundtrack.