Noname Responds to Backlash Over Jay Electronica’s “Balloons” Verse

Noname Responds to Backlash Over Jay Electronica’s “Balloons” Verse

Noname is facing criticism after featuring conscious rapper Jay Electronica on her latest album Sundial. Fans have taken issue with Electronica’s verse on the song “Balloons,” which they perceive as anti-Semitic due to religious references. The Chicago rapper has responded to the backlash, asserting she is not anti-Semitic and stands against white supremacy.

“Sundial” Controversy

Noname’s album Sundial, released on Aug. 11, has attracted controversy due to Jay Electronica’s guest appearance on the track “Balloons.” Electronica’s verse, which lasts just over a minute, contains religious references, including some pertaining to Judaism. 

In the verse, the 46-year-old rapper mentions leaving a “trail of names” of the sons of Yakub and professing to be directly connected to the Messiah. 

In Electronica’s verse he says “Everywhere I step foot I leave a trail of names/ Of the sons of Yakub, in a trail of flames/ I’m on fire, I’m plugged in directly to Messiah/ I run with the mighty ‘Khan as we expose the liars,” the 46-year old rapped. 

Electronica would end his verse with the lines: 

“If anybody asks, tell ’em Farrakhan sent me / It’s the War of Armageddon and I’m beggin’ the listener / If you ain’t fightin’, that mean you either dead or a prisoner,” he added. 

He also references Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has been accused of anti-Semitism throughout his career. Electronica concludes the verse with lines about the “War of Armageddon,” urging listeners to fight against oppression. Electronica also sampled Farrakhan in his 2020 album A Written Testimony on the song “The Ghost of Soulja Slim.” 

Fans React

This verse has led to backlash from fans on social media, with many expressing disappointment in Noname’s decision to include Jay Electronica on her album. 

Users on the X platform criticized the rapper, with one stating  “ That Jay Electronica feature is gonna be a stain forever on Noname career. It fly’s against everything you’d think she would stand for. No matter what she says people Will probably always bring up that horrid verse. 

One user posted, “So noname threw a tantrum bc people were upset about her featuring an anti-semitic rapper on her album, and then doubled down by having him rap a problematic and disgusting verse. Class act.” The controversy has raised questions about the artist’s judgment and alignment with her stated values.

Noname Responds To Backlash

Noname addressed the criticism on her Instagram story, by saying:

“Here’s the truth. No, i’m not anti-semitic. I don’t hate groups of people. I am against white supremacy which is a global system that privileges people who identify as white i’ve been clear about this for years.”

Noname also added, “I’m not going to apologize for a verse I didn’t write.” 

On the other hand, Jay Electronica has not released a statement addressing the controversy surrounding his verse. This lack of response from Electronica has only intensified the scrutiny surrounding his inclusion on Noname’s album.

Kanye West Faces Backlash For Anti-Semitic Comments

Similarly, star rapper Kanye West faced backlash in October 2022 after engaging in an anti-Semitic rant on Twitter. The incident resulted in the loss of several brand deals, including Balenciaga, Adidas, and the Gap.

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