Princess Nokia

Princess Nokia


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Photography Alberto Vargas

The Harlem rapper is manifestly uniting women of colour with her poppin’ beats and independent spirit

LocationNew York, United States

Princess Nokia, the barrier-breaking, Afro-Latinx goddess from Spanish Harlem, is one of the fiercest rappers in the game today.

Demonstrating a desire to unite all women of colour, Nokia (real name Destiny Frasqueri) channelled the potency of New York and black women more generally with “Brujas” and “Kitana”, two of 2016’s most politically-charged music videos. At the heart of her brash, alluring lyrics is a spirituality that comes with being at one with herself and her Puerto Rican roots.

“How I’m seeing myself now is kind of starting a new era of alternagirl, this whole new, epic, brown girl rock, girls with skateboards, moshing topless, girls who do what they want thing,” she told Dazed, undeterred in her mission to empower women of all walks.

Nokia, who projects her identity with absolute grace, never graduated high school, turned down five record deals, and grew up without her mother moving between East Harlem and the Lower East Side. Yet she remains a soldier whose story serves as an inspiration for girls of all backgrounds.

Yemi Abiade