If you want the TLDR of the vibe of Princess Nokia’s latest EP, just have a look at the album art. Simply put, these songs will fulfil all of your teen-angst fantasies.
New York born rapper, Destiny Frasqueri (performs under her alter-ego, Princess Nokia), is well-known for her powerful lyricism, catchy hip-hop beats and strong political beliefs. Her last release, a mixtape titled 1992, is heavily influenced by her experiences growing up and love for the city she was born in. It has an underlying old school hip-hop feel to it, but her new EP veers away from this. In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if the lyrics were taken from her middle school diary because they absolutely scream teen-angst.
A Girl Cried Red transports you back to the days when the Veronicas, Girlfriend Magazine and, the black green pink colour combo were the hottest things. This mid-late 2000’s emo pop girl band style has a super nostalgic feeling to it, especially as someone who adored this music growing up. She has craftily blended this style with her familiar hip-hop rhythm, in turn creating something super unique and powerful. In an Instagram live video, she mentioned that the some of her favourite bands including Blink 182, Paramore, and Courage My Love, were her inspiration while she wrote the tracks of the EP. This is telling of the overall vibe of these new tracks.
Despite the different stylistic choices, her lyrics continue to be reflective of her frank and open nature. Female hip-hop artists are often expected to fulfil a persona of strength. In addition, society assume women of colour to be sassy, assertive and self-assured. This is exemplified in the cookie-cut characters we see on our TV screens. She puts her finger up to this expectation, in her lyrics, by exploring her vulnerability and the struggles she has faced. Her experience with loneliness and overcoming depression is weaved throughout the EP, and the discussion of this in combination with catchy tunes was so impactful. It meant that I found myself more attentively listening to the lyrics and relating quite strongly with the themes she expands on.
Bottom line is: I’m a big fan. I will admit that it is a bit of a niche genre, so might not be to everyone’s taste. But if you could see yourself enjoying her previous work layered with emo pop girl band, be sure to give it a listen.