Princess Nokia: In Conversation

Destiny Frasqueri (aka Princess Nokia) visited Brown University on April 27th, the day before her Spring Weekend performance. In a conversation facilitated by bluestockings editor in chief, Sofia Robledo Rower, Destiny discussed escapism through music, being an Afro-Indigenous witch, and self love.

  1. .@princessnokia: when i started being Princess Nokia, I wanted to create a rly cool brown radical space #princessnokiatalk
  2. .@princessnokia That had hip hop energy, but punk as well, which comes from the riot grrl influence #princessnokiatalk
  3. .@princessnokia I'm not separating myself from the audience, how dare I think I'm better than them. The young souls in the audience are beautiful
  4. .@princessnokia "I've always been a loner who daydreamed a lot. I fantasize a lot. And I'm okay with that" #princessnokiatalk
  5. .@princessnokia I didn't have wifi, a laptop, or a cellphone. Most of the business transactions in the early days, I did in the library #princessnokiatalk
  6. .@princessnokia: when I got to the lower east side, I had so much freedom. I started working in the art world #princessnokiatalk
  7. .@princessnokia "I went to parochial school, so when I went to the LES, I became Princess Nokia" #princessnokiatalk
  8. "That's how @princessnokia was. She went to school, didn't rly talk to anybody, smoked a lot of weed." #princessnokiatalk
  9. .@princessnokia: as a young kid, i loved going to parties bc i loved dancing. I was a raver before EDM #princessnokiatalk
  10. .@princessnokia I remember having spiritual experiences of those lasers hitting me. I wasn't on drugs really either, i was on a high of being by myself
  11. .@princessnokia "When i was 19-20, I could no longer attend parties the way I used to. I took a long look and started focusing on my art" #princessnokiatalk
  12. .@princessnokia "I'm grateful for both. It was the funnest time in my life. No, this is the funnest time in my life" #princessnokiatalk
  13. SRR: where do you feel the spirits and the energies when you're performing w a crowd #princessnokiatalk
  14. .@princessnokia: I'm moved by god. My definition of god is the highest supreme light of beauty and happiness. #princessnokiatalk
  15. .@princessnokia "I don't know how women do it. At the end of the show I look like a wet mop." #princessnokiatalk
  16. .@princessnokia "I don't need an entourage, i don't need a hype person, I'm all of that." #princessnokiatalk
  17. SRR: can you talk more about getting power from isolation and going into yourself? #princessnokiatalk
  18. .@princessnokia : when i began studying spiritual discipline, you learn that solitude is a huge component in self-evolution
  19. .@princessnokia "It comes to a pt where you're not going to relate to ppl anymore. So I had to have solitude." #princessnokiatalk
  20. .@princessnokia In order to advance as a spiritual person, the carribean witch i am, I had to accept it #princessnokiatalk
  21. I'm Puerto Rican, so I'm black white and Native American. Mostly black and white, but a lot of Puerto Ricans don't want to admit that.
  22. My connection to my blackness is v strong & at the same time I accept my privilege as lightskinned but I'm not going to deny that Im black
  23. .@princessnokia: in my quest of understanding my womanhood, I wanted connect to my ancestors #princessnokiatalk
  24. .@princessnokia I'm a woman if substance, magic, beauty, that comes from my country and my family. And I had to share it with the world #princessnokiatalk
  25. .@princessnokia "I identify more as Afro-Indigenous. And white too. And I can find the beauty in that too" #princessnokiatalk
  26. .@princessnokia "I can try to erase antiblackness in my country. Bc everybody is ok w being Taíno, not everybody is ok w being Black" #princessnokiatalk
  27. .@princessnokia "My grandmother had scammed the NY art world and she had acquired these rich Jewish friends" #princessnokiatalk
  28. .@princessnokia The things I associated most with my mother were mermaids...that's why I call myself "Wavy" #princessnokiatalk
  29. .@princessnokia "I'm luck to have had so much openness with culture with me. I have love for everything, I've never been close-minded" #princessnokiatalk
  30. .@princessnokia: my relationship is rooted in a genetic sense. It has to do with my mother and Yemoja, the mother of the ocean
  31. .@princessnokia "My relationship w this Orisha is so maternal. She asks me to honor her as a daughter would, and that's enough" #princessnokiatalk
  32. .@princessnokia "She says, you use me bc you just want my companionship. she is the mother that had guided me my entire life." #princessnokiatalk
  33. SRR: could you talk a little bit about masculinity, and tomboy-ness #princessnokiatalk
  34. .@princessnokia I was always very gay, very queer. Loved making out w girls, like "let's play doctor" #princessnokiatalk
  35. .@princessnokia "More than anything, there's a this savantness w androgynous ppl. I'm an alpha female but I'm not a queen bee." #princessnokiatalk
  36. .@princessnokia "As a teenager, was always about being gay as possible. I wanted ppl to be uncomfortable, to talk shit about me" #princessnokiatalk
  37. .@princessnokia "I wanted ppl to remember me as that weird gay kid. I started the LGBT coalition @ my catholic HS. i was with the shits from the jump."
  38. .@princessnokia "I don't got no titties, it's basically all areola. It's a button, it's a pepperoni." #princessnokiatalk
  39. .@princessnokia That's what someone told me in 6th grade. It scarred me for life. She grabbed my My Chemical Romance pin and said "it looks like this!"
  40. .@princessnokia "I used to have a small frame and look pregnant. I used to have a boyfriend that said "i love your little titties and fat belly""
  41. .@princessnokia I like to play with that. As a gay theater kid, it's like, today I'm giving you femme, the girl that drake flew to mexico #princessnokiatalk
  42. .@princessnokia "That's a part of where I wanna be in hip hop. We don't have to look sexy all the time. I don't have to be either/or, I can be both"
  43. Q: how r genderqueer nonbinary queer folks included in ur urban feminism? Is there a place for us in the Afro-Latinidad community
  44. .@princessnokia: Everybody is included in my politics. & this is about principles more than politics
  45. .@princessnokia "Feminism comes from the existence of resistance. Urban feminism is for the women who could never fit into any box" #princessnokiatalk
  46. .@princessnokia: Bc im undereducated in politics and I don't want to fake the funk. And it may be a poor answer, but it's an honest answer.
  47. .@princessnokia "I don't consider feminism politics. I consider feminism a birthright, a lifestyle." #princessnokiatalk
  48. .@princessnokia "I am an old soul. I don't want to be an internet artist. I want to be an iconic force." #princessnokiatalk
  49. .@princessnokia How does one accomplish that? They have to live a very secular lifestyle, make a lot of sacrifices #princessnokiatalk
  50. .@princessnokia When Beyoncé released the Beyoncé album, that changed my life. I saw that and said, what is a 24-hr day for Beyoncé #princessnokiatalk
  51. .@princessnokia "I have to force myself to eat really clean, I try to get good sleep. What am I consuming into my body? Every morning I pray for an hour."
  52. .@princessnokia I pushed myself constantly. With every opportunity of time and energy. I'm not a genius but I want to emulate genius. #princessnokiatalk
  53. .@princessnokia "I tell myself every day, I am beautiful, I am magical, I am ascending" #princessnokiatalk
  54. .@princessnokia "I get so much joy out of those little moments with myself, that are so holy" #princessnokiatalk
  55. .@princessnokia "I've been many things, many people. But that's the woman I love the most." #princessnokiatalk
  56. .@princessnokia "Since I couldn't do higher ed, I had to make it work for me. I want to do it all. I'm not just a rapper, I'm an artist." #princessnokiatalk
  57. .@princessnokia: Loving yourself is the most revolutionary thing you can do. Fuck anything else, those are the real #goals.