Princess Nokia Bringing Feminist Hip Hop to MJQ

PHOTO: Alberto Vargas (@avargasphoto)

PHOTO: Alberto Vargas (@avargasphoto)

Do a quick Google search of “Princess Nokia” and you will find the 24-year-old Afro-Nuyorican hip-hop artist denouncing machismo, punching sexist audience members, and canceling a show in support of Palestinians – all while not giving a single fuck whom it might piss off.

Destiny Frasqueri, formerly known for her projects as Wavy Spice, is now touring the world as her alter ego Princess Nokia – an unsigned artist who is up for the task of spreading consciousness for everybody.

Atlanta’s own WERC Crew and Latinx group, La Choloteca, will host Princess Nokia for her first performance in the city. Both WERC Crew and La Choloteca are dedicated to bringing spaces not normally curated in the Atlanta music scene. One of the founders of La Choloteca, Kenneth Figueroa, believes this particular show will leave a longstanding impact on the community.

“Princess Nokia is obviously a voice that resonates with a lot of residents of Atlanta, so to see that in the flesh will be cathartic. I'm excited that there will be more of a capacity for people,” said Figueroa when asked about what Destiny can bring to the table.

Growing up between Spanish Harlem and the Lower East Side of New York, Destiny was called a dyke from an early age. As an out bisexual woman, Destiny often dresses comfortably in loose-fitting clothing seen in her hit video “Tomboy” where she rocks an oversized NYC t-shirt, baggy sweatpants, and vintage gold rimmed glasses. Kicking beauty standards to the side, Destiny raps about her “lil titties and fat belly”, declaring herself a proud tomboy and manipulating the male gaze. Destiny has turned her look into some pocket change to say the least. This year, she has teamed up with Bershka Beauty products and you might have seen the New Yorker in Calvin Klein’s 2016 In MyCalvins ads alongside big names like FKA Twigs, Joey Bada$$, Kendrick Lamar, and Fetty Wap to name a few.

Switching up her sound, look, and artististic endeavours has always been a part of the young rapper’s style. She’s never been scared to dig a little deeper or pay homage to her roots. Intertwined in her recent music, it’s easy to tell heritage and tradition are important aspects of Destiny’s life. From the age of six, Destiny participated in Taíno ceremonies called areitos and was exposed to spiritual practices of the Cherokee, Lakota, Seminole, Mexica, Azteca, and other Central American native peoples.

In a brilliant and eloquent interview with The Creator Class, Destiny sat down with Fader journalist Anupa Mistry and spoke about how not being represented in the majority white 90’s feminist punk scene sparked a conversation that ultimately turned into Smart Girl Club – a podcast dedicated to urban feminism that is “punk rock and ghetto at the same mother fucking time,” Destiny salutes in an episode from 2016.

Smart Girl Club has hosted workshops, led panel discussions at Harvard University, held pop-up shops, produced music videos, and much more. Smart Girl Club ranges from 45 minutes to almost two hours that is free in its form covering feminism, ghetto beauty, witchcraft, poetry, brujas, representation within the arts, and that is pro trans, pro queer, pro black, and pro brown.

What does Destiny, Wavy Spice, and Princess Nokia all have in common? The grit of an All-American black riot girl.

PHOTO: Alberto Vargas (@avargasphoto)

PHOTO: Alberto Vargas (@avargasphoto)

Figueroa also mentioned his excitement surrounding the collaboration between WERC Crew and La Choloteca.

“It's a melding of worlds if you will. And as we further grow our connections together and beyond the dark dance floors, I think the possibilities can be endless,” said Figueroa. “That in itself is enough to cast some kind of light on our daily blight. Music and dancing are healing, and self-care is super important in times like these.”

If you love “Metallic Butterfly”, be sure to listen to most recent work, 1992, available on Soundcloud now.

Don’t miss Princess Nokia alongside Lord Narf, Xavier BLK, DJ Hourglass, Anonima, Florista, JSport,Thrice Groove, Jeremy Avalon, DJ Esme, Santiago Paramo at MJQ on Thursday, May 4 from 10 pm to 3 am presented by La Choloteca and WERC Crew.

Tickets available here