For as many hurdles as it faces, Austin’s hip-hop/R&B scene only seems to keep getting stronger in recent years. And for the sake of variety, thankfully it’s not just macho monotone mumblers either; there’s been an influx of soul-informed female acts whose styles straddle between rapping and singing.
Among those to keep an ear out for is Noa Belillti, better known mononymously as NOA. Now, NOA’s been doing her thing here since 2011, but only dropped her debut EP In Your Dreams this past February. The Israeli-Moroccan’s since gone on to share a stage with KUTX favorite BLK ODYSSY at SXSW, compose and perform for Iram Reyes’ From Where I Stand, and continue to enjoy a residency at Half Step on Rainey Street every fourth Wednesday. It wouldn’t be fair to call NOA’s talent dynamite, because that would imply that a fuse that eventually fizzles, a big bang that begets silence. No, NOA and her pulchritudinous pipes are more like a never ending sequence of firecrackers, sparkling with sassy sensuality and popping with deservedly cocky confidence.
Just yesterday NOA stamped her hip-hop passport with an east-of-Java jet-setter that finds her once again teaming up with international producer CHRON!AC, (who lent their talents to the In Your Dreams closer “Call Me Up”). Eastern sensibilities surge throughout the instrumentation of “Ba Li“, building a tropical trap backdrop for NOA to absolutely go off. Between its bangin’ BPM and rapid-fire lyrical style switches, we’re wondering how much of “Ba Li” is NOA’s idea of self-empowered security versus the manifestation of an indulgent rager yet to happen.