Princess Nokia says she never wants to be represented by a major label, even though she’s been offered around five deals and rejected all of them. She just released her new EP 1992 and we’re here to say, “Girl, don’t ever do it.” The EP is superlative, an ode to 24-year-old Destiny Nicole Frasqueri’s existence. Lyrics exalt everything from the rapper’s little titties, mom jeans, and ambition to her skater girl past and Taino bruja heritage. The vibe is complicated and confident and we shudder to think how corporate supervision could have dulled its shine.
Princess Nokia has delivered a straight-up hip-hop storytelling session to close out the summer, a nine-track snapshot of her lifelong New York reign: days into night at the park (an ode to mid-90s style in the form of “Saggy Denim”), trips to the plug for new hair (“Mine”), conjuring spells with the cousins (the supreme “Brujas.”) The EP even includes production credits from 808 Mafia and Atlanta legend Lex Luger, as well as a verse from fellow Nuyorican rapper Wiki. She’ll be sticking with the genre for now, after having gone through some experiments over the past few years, like the sugary sweetness of last year’s “Apple Pie” and a recent voyage into baile funk with Buraka Som Sistema’s Branko.
“That’s just not this new persona I’m introducing,” she recently told The Snobette. “It’s me 24/7. Me as Destiny, New York, growing up in the city, being a skater, being a comic book head, being a rapper, and being a really androgynous kid.”
But don’t say she didn’t warn you — earlier this summer, Destiny released the video for “Tomboy,” a feel-good masterpiece featuring the rapper in glasses and deliciously low-key sweats, hooping with her girls at the court and slurping cereal milk on the couch with her actual abuela. Along with other affiliates of NYC’s Smart Girl Club — K Rizz, Dai Burger, and Junglepussy among them — Princess Nokia is putting out the work of an artist who has a razor-sharp sense of self, a much-needed narrative for the woke babes who still love to party.