NNAMDï is a force. The Chicago-based musician has put out a slew of solo records, played in multiple bands, and co-founded a label, Sooper Records, that is dedicated to showcasing artists whose hail-Mary commercial prospects make them unlikely to get embraced by more corporate entities. Every choice is part of an overarching attempt to fine some purity in the making of his art.
“It’s important to work with people that get you to speak from what’s really inside instead of taking what you say and twisting it into something else that’s just based on what they think is profitable,” NNAMDï told Pitchfork a couple years back.
Given this background, there’s an ironic kick to the pull-and-pull of NNAMDï’s new hip-hop track “I Don’t Wanna Be Famous.” Despite the proclamation of the title, the song is part of the long tradition of punchy pop preoccupied with the trappings of wealth and fame; “I just want a million new fans and plays/ Then I wanna ride that massive wave/ Blowin’ all the money on diamonds/ Mansions Pateks and private planes.” Catchy as can be and terrifically nimble, the track seems to waft on a gentle mockery of the boasts it shares, NNAMDï cleverly and coolly keeping the listener guessing about his level of sincerity. It’s a devilish delight.
Please Have a Seat, the new album from NNAMDï, is scheduled for release in September.