With all of the dark things in the world, it is imperative to cherish the glimmers of light. Sometimes you need something to remind you that you should appreciate the people, places and things in your life that reflect that light.

Many moons ago I was introduced to Acid Rap. Although it was Chance the Rapper’s second mixtape, it was the first time I heard his sing-song raps and trademark, “Igh!” adlibs. One song on that album, “Lost“, featured Noname, a fellow Chicagoan who can spit a mean sixteen all her own. She makes her talent and presence known with her content and her monotone, even-keeled flow. This girl’s got talent. (Side note: I really want this young lady to get the shine she deserves! I don’t necessarily know how to do that, but I hope that maybe someone, somewhere in a land far, far away will read this post. Gloss over my ramblings and give her a listen. And be compelled to share her music with a friend or two, or three.)

Upon hearing her on Acid Rap, I ventured out into the wild interwebs to find more of her material and found “Hold Me Up”.

The song is hella catchy! Great for summer time strolls, BBQs and the like. Simply summertime fly. “Hold Me Up” fills me up like some good home cooked food. Noname rides the beat with lyrics that span from self-deprecating:

My confessional, handwriting be regrettable, illegible, somebody help me right my wrongs

to sanguine:

My happiness will hold me up on the darkest day, I say…tomorrow looks like me, tomorrow looks like you 

Sprinkle in some lighthearted and playful lyrics in between some heartwarming melodies, and ya got yourself a four-minute hip-hop single for the soul. For whatever reason, one line stayed in my mind.

“What’s cuter than a little rubber ducky swimming on my backbone in a sea of chocolate, damn near nothing, but like damn near nothing.”

So much so it inspired me to make a garment, surprise surprise. At the time, it was late August and I thought it would be dope to bring together all my senses on this, on some chromesthesia type sh**. While listening to Hold Me Up I imagined a beautiful mosaic composed of light creams and autumn undertones, a sea of chocolate and rubber ducky on my back.

Headwrap flapping in the wind
Excuse me while I hold down my headwrap that was flapping in the wind

“My mama holds me up, she loves me like I’m good enough”

It wasn’t until recently, when I played the song during a long hard day (see that there Daye Jack post) that I remembered the main point of this song. Aside from being a summertime banger, it is an ode to Noname’s mom.

My mom is always in my corner. She continues to encourage me even when I don’t believe I can achieve these crazy sewing goals. Still buys me fabric whenever she goes to Nigeria (some fabric is 3-4 years old and has yet to be touched). Threatens to stop buying me fabric until I make or sell something. But she goes back on her word every time. I appreciate ya ma! I dedicate this work to the woman who continues to buy more fabric as a means to get my fashion game on point. To the first woman who taught me what real style is. The one who hooks me up with some of the finest pieces in my closet and continues to believe I can pursue these seamstress type endeavors.

Peep the orange piping I made for the back and pockets
Peep the orange piping I made for the back and pockets

TL;DR Check out Noname Gypsy, she is amazing. I made ANOTHER sweatshirt and I love my mom.

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