This Noname song is one that used to hit me hard in high school but now that I’m actually an adult, it means so much more to me. Noname uses “Paradise” to discuss how quickly adulthood creeps up on you and how we really should’ve appreciated those early years of life.

“Good morning little ones under little sons
Licking lemonade crunchy curls off of little thumbs
You wanna grow up now, you wanna be a big kid
Pushing metal carts down a blank grocery aisle
Oh, child, stay young for a minute
I’m paying bills like I was only young for a minute
Life is different, golden ticket
Cotton candy, don’t you miss it? I know I do”

Noname kicks the song off with the chorus (sung by Queen SheCago) and then goes straight into the first verse where she’s pleading with the children in her neighborhood to enjoy their childhood and stop wanting to grow up so damn fast. I relate to this song so much because I spent so much of my childhood just waiting to be grown and now that I’m grown, there are a lot of days where I wish I could go back to when bills and grocery shopping were the least of my worries or not even my worries at all. Life is truly different now and I do wish I could back to the days where we watched The Polar Express in class during the month of December and cotton candy was happiness and not just sugar on a stick and a waste of money.

A cute throwback to when my worries consisted of making sure we knew our way to all the good rides at Six Flags Over Georgia.

“I know I wanna get my songs on iTunes then see the world
Then write new music that feeds the world
I’m not black enough to go back to Africa; fast enough
Decaffeinated on the grounds of a massacre
It’s like that for real
Nightcap, right back to my record deal
I wanna help people, I wanna be rich
I wanna be the Bob Marley of this rap music”

In the second half of the first verse, Noname answers the question of “So, what do you want to do with your life?” A common question for those that are getting older (especially those graduating, whether it’s high school or college). It’s my least favorite question, especially since people love to judge and throw their two cents into your plans (shout out to everyone pursuing careers in creative fields) like you actually care about what they want you to do with your life. Honestly, when it comes to that question from now on I think my answer will be very similar to Noname’s. It’s very true that I want to help people and I want to be rich but I want to be the Toni Morrison of this creative writing shit. Well, Toni mixed with a lot of others but Toni is the basis. I definitely want to see the world and I want my work to feeds the world. I’m working on it for sure. I mean, why wouldn’t I be? I’m grown now and I have no choice but to keep moving forward because if I don’t then what am I going to do? Fail? That’s not an option. I have to inspire my siblings, inspire the world, and live up to, no, exceed my expectations. While I’m still working to do all that, it’s nice to dream about what could will be. So, nightcap, right back to my publishing deal, right back to my primetime TV shows, right back to owning all the businesses of my dreams.

“Oh, this is life? Empty bank account and a kitchen knife
I quit the weed, I had to leave a friend in need
It’s been 30 days since she looked at me

And I’m sorry
Good things come
Good things come to an end
Good things come to an end
Good things come to an end
Good things come
Good things come”

During the end of the second verse and into the bridge Noname chronicles the realizations of being an adult. Growing up, adulthood seemed like so much fun but now that she’s really experiencing it, she’s seeing it for what it really is. Her bank account is empty and she’s having thoughts that don’t coincide with the way she thought she would be feeling in her 20s. She also mentions how she’s decided to put away certain things that don’t have as much importance as they did when she was younger. She dropped her weed smoking habit and probably lost a few friends along the way but good things, like childhood, come to an end. I think that’s the most important lesson of this song. Yes, enjoy the time that you have in certain spaces (whether its childhood or college) and live it out to your fullest but you must remember that you can’t stay in those spaces forever. You have to move on, you have to grow, you have to branch out and enjoy the rest of what the world has to offer.


This post is dedicated to all my siblings.

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