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Noname accused of ‘weaponizing’ Black teen’s death to critique Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’

Noname has since deleted the tweet and apologized.

Aug 27, 2020, 5:19 pm

Internet Culture


Moises Mendez II

People are accusing Noname of “weaponizing” the death of a Black 16-year-old to shade Beyoncé and her latest Disney project, Black Is King.

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In a tweet on Thursday, Noname urged Disney to bolster the news of the police killing of Nathaniel Julius' in South Africa.

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“Hey @Disney If Black is king, you’ll boost this,” Noname said in a now-deleted tweet, quote-tweeting the news of Julius’ death.

Soon after her tweet, the Chicago rapper’s name began to trend on Twitter, with some accusing her of "using his image and name to be shady for attention.”

“Noname really said this about a Young Boy who was killed........ just to shade Black Is King..... I’m disgusted,” a Twitter user, who was able to screenshot Noname’s tweet before she deleted it, wrote.

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However, many also agreed with Noname’s message.

“Noname called out Disney for profiting off of Black culture and y’all made it about Beyoncé,” one user tweeted. “Not because [Noname] was calling out Beyoncé but—because y’all are so committed to capitalist representational imaginaries that you’ll protect the antiBlack corporations that engineer them.”

The 28-year-old rapper later apologized for the way her tweet was perceived. “My intention was not at all to use  Nathaniel’s death to critique [Beyoncé]. [I] apologize if that’s how it came off,” she tweeted. “It just hurts to see [Disney] a billion dollar company profit of the likeliness of black folks and not do anything to support when blk people dying from state violence.”

She then directed her apology at Julius’ family and concluded with the hashtag: #JusticeforNathanielJulius.

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This isn't the first time Noname has critiqued Black Is King. When the visual album was released at the end of July, Noname tweeted, "We love an African aesthetic draped in capitalism. Hope we remember the Black folks on the continent whose daily lives are impacted by US imperialism. If we can uplift the imagery, I hope we can uplift those who will never be able to access it. Black liberation is a global struggle.”

Beyoncé's fans similarly attacked Noname online back then as well, according to Uproxx.

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*First Published: Aug 27, 2020, 5:19 pm