Princess Nokia: “1992 Deluxe” Album Review

Written By: Brandon Basile 

Instagram: @RestlessSoul13 Twitter: @RestlessSol13 Blog: brandonbasile.wordpress.com

Your Favorite Ratchet Baby

Originality:4 Stars (4 / 5)
Vocals/Flow:3 Stars (3 / 5)
Lyrics:3 Stars (3 / 5)
Production:4 Stars (4 / 5)
Average:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

We’ve all got voices and we’ve all got to use them.  It is a known fact that the voices of the oppressed and marginalized people and cultures have been historically underrepresented. Toronto artist Princess Nokia is one to know about the being culturally marginalized and underrepresented as she speaks from the background of many different heritages and uses her cultural diversity to empower her artistry. Destiny Frasqueri, a.k.a. Princess Nokia, openly identifies as a feminist, a bruja, a boricua, and a tomboy and uses her music and her podcast Smart Girl Club Radio to give discourse and dialog on the struggles of her day to day life.  Her third release in the past three years, 1992, is a bevy of brown girl life inspired cuts over New York Hip-Hop and Trap rap beats.  Princess Nokia is definitely coming with enough noise to be heard, but what’s the fuss about?

If there was anyone who is practiced at the art of flag waving it would definitely be Princess Nokia. This is not to mean just gang repping, but Princess Nokia reps the different parts of her identity to the fullest and waves her freak flag high. One of her most successful singles, “Tomboy”, is an anthem for the ladies of the itty-bitty-titty committee as she raps “with my little titties” in rhymes in both verses before and during the chorus chant of “who that is hoe? That girl is a tomboy”. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been wanting to hear a song championing for women with little breasts for sometime now so I’m definitely here to support hyping the happy bee stings whole-heartedly.

It is refreshing to hear a woman exuding sexual bravado in such an aggressive way and Frasqueri solidly delivers intricate and gangsta lyrics without missing a beat. Songs like “Kitana” and “Brujas” are other singles from the project that have engagingly directed videos that are definitely worth checking out. “Brujas” is something of an anthem for every Lisa-Bonet-looking-light-skinned-girl and a bit past due.  Princess Nokia very outrightly takes stances for race, femininity, and queer communities in both her visuals and aggressive lyrics.  She presents an expansive view of urban life as she drops lines about fast food on party cut homages to hood footwear “Chinese Slippers”. Some of her references to Bart Simpson and video games actually do come off as a bit immature and short-sighted at times, but Princess Nokia’s passion is more than visible. 

Celebrating your little titties should definitely go as far as to flashing on your video for your little titty anthem.  Why not? Go for it, surely.  Princess Nokia has been building momentum from Toronto delivering positive motivational vibes as that of a true New York boricua. 1992 is an authentic experience showing promise with coming growth. 2017 has been a good year for female hip-hop/rap artists so who knows what other hardbody anthems Destiny Frasqueri will bring to us in the coming years. I could definitely hear a collaboration with the likes of Cardi B within the realm of aural possibilities, but Princess Nokia has been doing her own thing so well she will likely gain more popularity by continuing to hold down her own lane.     

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