“Diddy Bop” [ft. Raury & Cam O’bi]
Noname is the latest voice to emerge this year from the loose assemblage of artists gathered around Chance the Rapper, and her music shimmers with the evening-streetlight glow that characterizes most of them. Like Chance’s Coloring Book, or Jamila Woods’ HEAVN, or even Joey Purp’s rough but sternly humane iiiDrops, Noname’s music feels luminously positive, clear-eyed, and compassionate. “Diddy Bop” is luxurious and easy and warm, a reminiscence about good times, or better ones. Her voice is in a playful and confident middle range between forestalling, singing, and slam poetry, and her lyrics carve out enough details to fill the song with an entire imagined cast of characters—jealous boyfriends griping at girls in love with Raz-B from B2K; kids nabbing twenties from their mom’s purse.
Raury, a still-developing would-be eccentric clearly in thrall to the shadow of André 3000, murmurs his verse into the track’s ear; it’s one of his sweetest and most unforced performances ever. From the evidence of the music, there is something restorative and calming about just being around Chance’s crew. It breeds music that feels so sure of itself and its place in the world that it can’t help but be infectious.