On the Dial | Princess Nokia
Earlier this summer when my friend told me she was going to see Princess Nokia in Detroit, I had never heard of her. So I Googled her, clicked on the first music video that popped up — then the next one, and the next one, and the next one — and an hour later I was still enamored. She's a New York-based radical feminist rapper who loves what's ugly, loves what's unconventional, and does things on her own terms, even when that means denying a record deal.
You don’t have to cover your body to be classy; you can be whoever the fuck you want to be. If you wanna be a slut, be a slut. If you wanna be a doctor, be a doctor. If you wanna be a lawyer, be a lawyer. If you wanna be a man, be a man. If you wanna be a woman, great. As long as you’re happy being who you are. —Frasqueri as Wavy Spice for Bullett
When people say, "Princess Nokia," they likely mean the individual, Destiny Frasqueri, who's performed under the names "Destiny" and "Wavy Spice." While Frasqueri describes Princess Nokia as her artistic alter ego, she also describes it as a collective. It's not just her, it's all her many selves that have been, and all the possibilities of what she could be, without boundaries and without labels.
Raised in Spanish Harlem and the Lower East Side of New York, Frasqueri lost her mother in early childhood (Fader). She was then placed under the care of a foster mother, who she identifies as abusive. Frasqueri had to stand up for herself, look out for herself, and ultimately make choices to get out of difficult situations.
It's no wonder she's such a staunch advocate of individual empowerment to do whatever you want to do and be whomever you want to be. She released her own songs on her YouTube channel, and when she started working with a record label, quickly became frustrated with the pressures that came along with it.
So she's still doing it on her own, working with other producers and artists to release her own music and her own videos. She now has a Spotify page, but still no bio. I highly recommend perusing her YouTube channel, though, where you'll find audio for Wavy Spice's "Yaya," the Taíno word for Great Spirit, the video for "Brujas," the Spanish language word for witchcraft, and the video for "Tomboy," perhaps her most radically badass release yet.