Why Princess Nokia Matters Now, More Than Ever

Destiny Frasqueri, aka Princess Nokia, knows herself. You should too.

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Jan 29 2017, 8:01pm

"I wasn't in no way where I am now, but I remember that line," said Destiny Frasqueri, pausing for only a moment before quoting Lauryn Hill's "Final Hour" about international articles and coming up on a hater. "And I was like, 'that's gon' be my revenge.' And I'm gon' let them fuckin' know." On January 15, Toronto's DJ Nino Brown and Thank You Kindly, a Toronto-based production and curation company, hosted Princess Nokia's two-part event in the city. On the first night, she performed to a crowd of fans who recited every word off her latest album 1992 with her in perfect unison. The next day, she sat with Anupa Mistry, FADER Canada editor in an informal, chill lecture and discussed the myriad of people, experiences and places that make up Destiny, the woman, and sustain Princess Nokia, the artist. After wrapping up the Q&A due to her need for vocal rest before her upcoming European tour, Princess Nokia committed to hanging back and invited every single attendee to a hug of appreciation. "I'm never gonna forget what this feels like. This is new to me every time," she said to a congregation of people hanging onto her every word. In a little over two hours, Destiny had made believers of everyone in the room.

Princess Nokia isn't really someone who needs an introduction. She identifies as a bruja and a tomboy, a classic New York Boricua shorty, a feminist, a queer woman who isn't burdened, but empowered by her complexity. Her podcast Smart Girl Club Radio, is the clearest distillation of Princess Nokia as the artist, woman and friend. The show is comprised of just one mic and her carefully shared musings on her life as she knows it to be true, only interrupted by sweet, fatherly check-ins or short recitations of original poetry. On the latest episode, she spoke on her accomplishments of 2016, the best and most prosperous year of her life. "See? She does many things, wears many hats. Doesn't even need to talk about it… Power to the people, and power to my paycheque," she ends with a little laugh. This is the essence of who she is: a hustler, a charismatic spirit, and someone who plays no games. As Destiny Frasqueri, as Wavy Spice, and, finally, as Princess Nokia.

Read more over at Noisey.

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