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From Foster Care To Fashion Model This Afro-Latina Hip-Hop Artist Is Inspiring Us With Her Gut-Wrenching Story

With an unconventional style and zero fucks to give, Destiny Frasqueri, better known as Princess Nokia (or Wavy Spice by some), is turning heads in the NYC underground scene. Unapologetically herself, Nokia prides herself on being a “weirdo,” though she’ll just as easily boast about having “little titties” and being able to snatch your man away.

One of her first videos out was “Tomboy,” where she’s dressed in a style that screams ’90s-era-Aaliyah.

Credit: Princess Nokia / Youtube

Aaliyah, who came to prominence in the early ’90s, also dressed in baggy clothes, wore thick lip liner and had an IDGAF attitude. Nokia’s style is much more in-your-face, and her music appears to be heavily influenced by the trap sounds of the moment, whereas Aaliyah was a soulful, more traditional R&B singer. However, there really does feel like there’s a cross-generational connection between the two.

The similarities don’t stop there: the two were both fashion models.

V Magazine, September 2016 Interview available now on vmagazine.com Photo by @chadmooreholla

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Aaliyah sported Tommy Hilfiger, while Nokia has done several spreads for Calvin Klein. But don’t get Nokia twisted, the pinky-finger-in-the-air aura of high fashion modeling is immediately punched in the gut by her brashness. Here she is channeling her inner Sade.

And she also kills “boy” looks.

Elegance with an edge. That's the new Xby0 for Adidas Originals #adidasoriginals #OriginalsDNA #ad

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I can picture Aaliyah having worn the same thing at some point.

Nokia has spent time extensively exploring her Afro-Latina roots in her music.

Credit: Princess Nokia / Youtube

In this video for “Brujas,” which she co-directed herself, she pulls from Yoruba imagery and the spiritual images of Santeria, while wearing her hair out as curly as possible and spitting the history of her native ancestry. She raps in the song:

“I’m the black-arican bruja straight out from the Yoruba / and my ancestry is Nigerian my grandmas was brujas / and I come from an island and it’s called Puerto Rico/ It’s one of the smallest, but it’s got the most people.”

In this revealing documentary by The Fader, entitled “Destiny,” Nokia talks about her entire journey.

Credit: The Fader / Youtube

From being a child in the foster care system, to running away, to falling into music and modeling, to the origins of the name Nokia, this 16-minute, eye-opening documentary is longer than most things you’ll see on the Internet today, but just try and take your eyes off of it once you start. It’s a gripping portrayal of an artist that is multi-layered and coming into her own as a musician. In the doc, she reveals that she’s an ardent feminist and is inspired by the feminists, including her sister, that she grew up around. At her shows, she makes sure that women get to sit up close, urging them all to come to the front row.

Check out her newest video and keep your eye on the rising star.

Credit: Princess Nokia / Youtube

She’ll be performing at Summer Stage 2017 in NYC. If you’re in town, definitely check her out. She’ll be part of a set with Chilean artist Mon Laferte and Afro-Puerto Rican music project ÌFÉ. Should be a great show!


[H/T] Fader

READ: This All-Female Mariachi Dominated Kate Spade’s Latest Commercial And The Internet Loves It


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10 Empowering Songs By Afro-Latinas About Loving Yourself

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10 Empowering Songs By Afro-Latinas About Loving Yourself

It’s Black History Month, a time to uplift and celebrate the historic events and people of African descent who have contributed to culture, achieved excellence and sparked social and political change. But it’s also a moment for reflection, of honestly evaluating how much — and how little — has changed for the African diaspora throughout the US, Latin America and beyond.

Confronting the everyday violence, discrimination, disadvantages and inequality Black individuals have and continue to endure, while necessary, could be enraging and upsetting, and makes self-care practices all the more necessary.

This year, whether you’re celebrating the beauty, resilience and magia of blackness with a Black History Month party or well-deserved care day, music can always add to the occasion. Here, a mix of Spanish and English songs by Afro-Latinas and for Black women that unapologetically declare self-love and engage in self-worship to add to any Black joy playlist for the month of February and all the days that follow it.

1. Celebrate being a daughter of “La Diaspora” with Nitty Scott.

When the Afro-Boricua rapper dropped Creature in 2017, she gifted Black women, particularly Black Latinx femmes, with a full project that saw, understood and exalted their existence. None of the bangers on the LP did this as intentionally as the song and short film “La Diaspora.”

2. Make your voice and joy heard with Christina Milian’s “Say I”

When the cubana teamed with Young Jeezy to drop this 2009 bop, she encouraged women to “do what you want to do. Don’t let nobody tell you what you’re supposed to do.” And that’s some pretty liberating ishh.

3. Some might call you “CRZY,” but Kehlani wants you to embrace the term.

Confidently dancing to the beat of your own drum, especially as a woman of color, is neither expected nor welcomed, largely because it makes it more difficult for white supremacy to thrive. With “CRZY,” the part-Mexican R&B songstress encourages femmes to embrace and reclaim the slights people throw at you for being a radiant, go-getting mami.

4. And Calma Carmona’s “I Got Life” shows that there is so much to be joyous about.

In her Spanglish rendition of Nina Simone’s “I Ain’t Got No … I Got Life,” the Puerto Rican soul singer declares all the beauty she has, from her voice, to her hair, to her smile to her life, in a world that told her she has nothing.

5. Something else you have: “Tumbao.”

In la reina de salsa’s multi-generational hit “La Negra Tiene Tumbao,” the late cubana Celia Cruz reminds Black women of that unfading, indescribable, swing and swag that Black women carry with them in every space they occupy.

6. Prefer an English joint? Cardi B will also remind you how “Bad” you are.

With “She Bad,” featuring YG, the Dominican-Trinidadian rapper engages in self-worship and encourages other Black women to feel themselves and own their sexuality without apprehension or apologies.

7. ‘Cause Like Maluca told you, you’re “la mami del block.”

In the Dominican singer-rapper’s mega bop “El Tigeraso,” Maluca makes the indisputable claim that Afro-Latinas have it all: “tengo fly, tengo party, tengo una sabrosura.”

8. And like Farina says, not everyone is deserving of your greatness.

In “la nena fina’s” urbano-pop jam “Mucho Pa’ Ti,” the colombiana raps what everyone knows: She, and you, are too much — too poppin’, too powerful, too radiant — for the unworthy.

9. Now that you’re reminded of who you are, enter every space like Melii walked into the club in her music video for “Icey.”

With sparkly, high-heeled white boots, a laced v-neck bodysuit, some tiny red shades and confidence that entraps you, dominicana-cubana Melii knows her value — as a woman and an artist — and watching or listening to how self-assured she is will undoubtedly rub off on you.

10. ‘Cause at the end of the day, you’re a “Million Dollar Girl” like Trina.

Like the Dominican-Bahamian rapper, alongside Keri Hilson and Diddy, told you in 2010: “Baby if I want it, I got it / ‘Cause I’ll be gettin’ some more / ‘Cause I’m a million dollar girl, for sure.”

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Princess Nokia Blasts Ariana Grande For Copying Her On “7 Rings”

Entertainment

Princess Nokia Blasts Ariana Grande For Copying Her On “7 Rings”

With the release of her latest pop-rap single “7 rings,” all eyes are back on Ariana Grande. But the spotlight has brought some not-so-favorable attention as well: The Internet, including Princess Nokia, is accusing Grande of stealing the Nuyorican rapper’s flow in “Mine.”

In a video Nokia, born Destiny Frasqueri, posted on Instagram, she points out some similarities between the new track, off the young pop diva’s upcoming album thank u, next, and Nokia’s own song, which dropped in 2017 as part of her mixtape 1992.

“Does that sound familiar to you? ‘Cause that sounds really familiar to me. Oh my god … ain’t that the little song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmm … sounds about white,” she says in the video.

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@arianagrande

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On “7 rings,” Grande raps, “You like my hair? Gee thanks, just bought it.” Similarly, on “Mine,” Nokia goes, “It’s mine, I bought it.”

The rapper isn’t the only one questioning the likeness of the songs. Twitter users, including some of Grande’s own fans, are raising their eyebrows as well.

Despite Nokia directly calling Grande out with a mention on her Instagram post, the “thank u, next” singer has yet to respond to the call-out.

Take a listen to Grande’s “7 rings” below then compare it to Nokia’s “Mine” above, and let us know what you think.

Read: Princess Nokia’s Latest Collaboration With Betsy Johnson Will Give You Major 90s Whimsy

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