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Noname played Prospect Park with Topaz Jones & Jazze Belle (pics, review)

The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival continued this past Friday in Prospect Park with a packed show featuring jazz-soul duo Jazze Belle (producer Jett Carter and singer Taylor Simone), Jersey-based rapper Topaz Jones, and one of Chicago’s most poetic exports of late, Noname. Jazze Belle, for their part, expanded their duo to include a saxophonist, pianist, bassist, and guitarist. Topaz Jones, too, brought a full live band, all clad in sunny yellow hue. Despite the earlier inclement weather, the crowd packed to the front of the stage, prepared to provide backup vocals as Topaz Jones called for it throughout his energetic set.

Noname, on the heels of her Pitchfork Festival set in July, looked absolutely radiant as she floated about the stage, buoyed by a skillful backing band that enhanced Noname’s signature soft R&B sound behind her confident and uptempo delivery. Opening with “Diddy Bop,” as she’s done in past performances, she then moved through a set consisting of songs off of her excellent 2016 mixtape Telefone, including “Shadow Man,” “Bye Bye Baby,” and “Freedom (Interlude),” before closing with her biggest track off of Telefone, the poignant and soulful single “Yesterday.” She spent plenty of time using the giant crowd to her advantage, including shout outs to Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, and Malcolm X, and performing what she dubbed “gospel raps” towards the top of her set. In addition to her Telefone tracks, she performed “Comfortable,” a Mick Jenkins track featuring Noname from when she still went by “Noname Gypsy,” years before Telefone was released to critical acclaim. As she spit Jenkins’ lines to an enthusiastic and overflowing crowd last Friday night, cheers were met with an unbreakable grin on her face, recognition of her hard earned success since she first wrote “Comfortable” “as a youngster” (in her words) four years ago.

Pictures of all three acts are in the gallery above. We didn’t manage to get Noname’s full setlist (anyone have it?) but you can check out the two openers’ setlists below.

Topaz Jones Setlist:
Howlin To The Moon
Motion sickness
Pleasure pain passion
Cotton fields
For the better

Jazze Belle Setlist:
Forever Don’t Exist
Feels Like
Old Spice
Everyday’s Tomorrow
Jagged Edge

photos by Toby Tenenbaum

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