Noname appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, discussing her book club—Noname’s Book Club—personal branding, and encouraging people to buy books from black-owned bookstores. Watch an excerpt of the interview below, and watch the extended version here.
The Chicago rapper admitted to Noah that she got the idea when stoned and tweeting about a book she was reading. Someone asked to be her pen pal because they were reading the same book. She explained that one element of the project is encouraging people to shop locally, with the site hosting a directory of POC-owned bookstores for people to patronize. “It’s a little bit of a fuck you to Amazon, and kind of a fuck you to the FBI,” she explained, referencing the FBI’s COINTELPRO and their targeting of black independent booksellers.
Noname pushed back when Noah suggested that rappers have made it not cool to read anymore. “I wouldn‘t specifically put it on the culture,” she said. “I don‘t think it‘s rappers, I think generally people are just not reading. And I think specifically, there’s been communities that have been targeted. Whether it’s bookstores, or schools that are actively allowing their kids to compete and to completely be literate, I think most people in the communities that I am in and that I come from, they don’t really have a choice, because of the way that their surrounding community is set up when it comes to reading. Yes, rappers aren’t necessarily promoting books, but no one is promoting books.”
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork