Noname refuses to apologize for keeping perceived anti-Semitic Jay Electronica verse on her album

Jay Electronica appears on "Balloons," a track on Noname's sophomore album, "Sundial," her first release in five years.

Noname’s comeback is mired in controversy over a guest verse on her new album critics deem anti-Semitic. The Chicago rapper has refused to apologize for keeping the verse on her album.

Jay Electronica appears on “Balloons,” a track on Noname’s latest album, “Sundial.” On the song, the New Orleans MC used references in his guest verse that some critics call anti-Semitic, according to The Daily Beast. Noname received backlash for allowing Jay’s verse to remain on “Balloons,” but media outlets reported she declared, on her Instagram Story, she would not back down.

The Instagram Story is no longer available, and theGrio tried to contact Noname to verify the authenticity of her social media post. Other media outlets have attributed the Instagram post to Noname, though theGrio can’t confirm that.

Noname, according to the media outlets, wrote that she won’t “apologize for a verse I didn’t write” and insists that she is not anti-Semitic. “I don’t hate groups of people,” Noname purportedly wrote. “I am against the white supremacy, which is a global system that privileges people who identify as white. I’ve been clear about this for years.”

The Instagram post reportedly said if fans don’t like the verse, then “don’t listen” to the album. Noname concluded by implying that she was unfazed by losing listeners or fans. “Unfollow and support all the other amazing rappers putting out dope music,” Noname continued. “Your disappointment truly means absolutely nothing to me, and I say that with love.”

“Balloons” had initially been pegged as the first single for “Sundial,” but Noname withheld the song, releasing the album without a lead single. Noname heard fans initially complain online after learning that Jay Electronica appears on the record. He has been criticized for supporting what critics label anti-Semitic statements by Kanye West and Nick Cannon.

Jay Electronica is heavily associated with the Nation of Islam and even name-drops its leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, in his “Balloons” verse. 

“Sundial” is Noname’s second studio album, following her 2018 debut, “Room 25.” She first received public acclaim for her 2016 mixtape, “Telefone,” which led to an appearance on NPR’s “Tiny Desk” concert series in 2017.

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