As New York begins to enter a new era in what’s an undoubtedly long lineage of Hip-Hop artists who have come and conquered the Big Apple, there’s one name in particular that sticks out more than any others. And no, we’re not talking about artists like the late, great Pop Smoke, Lil Tjay, JI the Prince, or even the Bronx superstar Cardi B.
No in fact who we’re talking about is someone who’s history in the city, proven track record, and platform built in the process cannot be questioned. Who we’re talking about is the independent, self-proclaimed “symbol of possibility” that’s been selling out tours nationwide while building a movement in a lane of its own.
Who we’re talking about is Princess Nokia.
The Puerto Rican MC is a breath of fresh air in a music world where so much sounds, for a lack of better words, like the same old shit. But make no mistake, since coming on to the Hip-hop scene in 2014, Nokia has been anything but the same old shit. In fact, she’s just the shit.
With the ability to effortlessly sound like anything from a traditional bar for bar rapper, to an R&B soul vocalist, and everything in between there isn’t much the Princess can’t do. Certainly carving out a pocket of sound all her own and authentic to its core in the process, Nokia’s story is one of perseverance and hard work as well rather than the instant success that seems to be oddly the norm in social media spheres nowadays.
It wasn’t until 2017, thanks to her sophomore project entitled 1992 Deluxe which received rave reviews from every major media outlet whether it be Billboard all the way down to NME and more. Standout tracks such as Tomboy and Brujas did numbers in the multi-millions, from there the independent star hasn’t looked back.
After a long break from new music for her fanbase that lasted until just this past February, the New York star returned with a two-album bundle that included over twenty new tracks entitled Everything Sucks and Everything is Beautiful. As the names of the projects themselves suggest, they’re intentionally polarizing in meaning and intention as each has its own unique aura and personality to them. Tracks like Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.), Gemini, and Balenciaga were early standouts each surpassing upwards of eight million streams while continuing to showcase her other-worldly bars and top-notch vocals simultaneously.
But one track, I Like Him, has shined brighter than any others so far. Teaming up with Pro Era’s platinum producer and frequent JoeyBada$$ collaborator Powers Pleasant, Nokia has racked up the notoriety and plays to the tune of near 35 million streams on Spotify alone to date. A more menacing, dark vibe Princess Nokia takes no prisoners on this track while bringing a very modern, punk rap delivery to her usual killer punchlines.
Outside of the booth, her ventures as an independent artist and self-branded business have been equally as successful. Whether it be through her blast from the past (with a modern twist) fashion sense that finds her often collaborating with the likes of ASAP Mob, to hosting her own Apple Music radio show, and especially her own activism she spearheads in communities all over New York there’s much to love about this one of a kind MC.
Make sure to go check out the Big Apple’s newest Princess latest work and follow her on social media @princessnokia as well as us here @engmtcent for weekly updates on the freshest artists in the game.