Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, (born June 14, 1992), better known by her stage name Princess Nokia, is an American rapper and actress of Puerto Rican descent. Princess Nokia released their debut album Metallic Butterfy in 2014, followed by the 2015 mixtape, Honeysuckle (as Destiny). Frasqueri, as Princess Nokia, then released the 1992 EP, followed by her debut album, 1992 Deluxe, which served as their breakthrough album. In 2018, she released the emo-rap mixtape, A Girl Cried Red, before releasing two albums in 2020, Everything Sucks and Everything Is Beautiful. Princess Nokia has also hosted an Apple Music radio show and acted in the independent film, Angelfish.
At the age of 10, Frasqueri lost her mother to AIDS. Between the ages of 9 and 16, Nokia was in foster care. During Frasqueri's time in foster care, their foster mother was physically abusive. After Frasqueri left foster care, she went to live with her grandmother. At the age of sixteen, she started writing rhymes. Frasqueri lived around East Harlem and the Lower East Side of New York City at the time.
Early career and Metallic Butterfly (2010-2016)
Frasqueri recorded her first song, "Destiny", in 2010, and released it under the name "Wavy Spice" on her SoundCloud page and her YouTube channel in mid-2012. It was largely autobiographical and gained modest popularity. Subsequently, Frasqueri released their second track, "Bitch I'm Posh". The track went viral, and as of March 2020, received 170,000 plays on SoundCloud. Frasqueri then released YAYA (Yaya is a Taino word) as a commentary of perceptions of colonial history. Frasqueri continued to release singles, such as Dragons, a Game of Thrones inspired piece, Honeysuckle, and Vicki Gotti until changing their moniker to Princess Nokia. Frasqueri released her mixtape, 1992, on Soundcloud and began touring.
Frasqueri claims Princess Nokia is an alter ego, which Frasqueri introduced with the track "Nokia". Frasqueri released an album named Metallic Butterfly on May 12, 2014, and was debuted on Vice and Soundcloud.
1992 Deluxe (2017-2018)
In February 2017, Frasqueri confronted a member of the audience at a charity concert at Cambridge University whom they accused of "mouthing dirty obscenities like 'show me your tits'." The alleged harasser denied yelling such obscenities and told The Cambridge Student: "I was standing in the audience and was told by a fellow audience member that the name of the performer was 'Abigail'. Given that I was enjoying the performance, I shouted out 'Let's go Abigail!'. After I shouted this, they came down from the stage. They slapped me and threw drinks on me." After returning to the stage, Nokia told the crowd "that's what you do when a White boy disrespects you".
On September 8, 2017, they released their debut studio album, 1992 Deluxe, which was an expanded version of their 2016 mixtape, 1992. It peaked at #25 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart. NME listed it as the 32nd best album of 2017.
In October 2017, Frasqueri made headlines again when a viral video surfaced of them throwing hot soup in a man's face whilst on a subway journey to Brooklyn. The rapper heard a white man shouting racial slurs at a group of teenagers, and decided to take action against the racist remarks by slapping the man and throwing their hot soup on him. They took to Twitter saying: "this bigot called this group of teenage boys 'n****s' on the train so I stood up and slapped him and everybody on the train backed me up".
A Girl Cried Red (2018-2019)
Nokia also has debuted a new radio show on Apple's Beats 1 Radio on February 18, 2018. Episodes will air every other Sunday and allow listeners to get acquainted with the inner workings of Nokia's mind. They have a total of 6 episodes labelled: "The Voices in My Head with Princess Nokia."
In September 2018, Nokia was chosen as one of the six ambassadors by Maison Margiela to promote their new fragrance, Mutiny.
In December 2018, Nokia re-released the album Metallic Butterfly under the label Rough Trade. In 2019 they had their debut performance as an actor in the indie movie “Angelfish".
Everything Sucks and Everything is Beautiful (2020 - present)
In February 2020, Nokia released two albums: Everything Sucks and Everything is Beautiful.
Princess Nokia is a strong supporter of intersectional feminism, founding the Smart Girl Club with Milah Libin, a podcast where she discusses healthy living and urban feminism. The rapper is an active practictioner of Santería, and has shared their own experience with clairvoyance and spirituality that they infuse their music with.
Frasqueri identifies as bisexual and has stated such in a past interview and has also talked about how growing up near the queer community of New York City was an important part of her life. The early stages of Princess Nokia's musical career began through performing at gay clubs, as she gained popularity among the gay nightlife scene.
Frasqueri also opened up about her identity as a gender non-conforming person and uses both they/them as well as she/her pronouns.
- Metallic Butterfly (2014, in 2018 was released a deluxe edition)
- 1992 Deluxe (2017, as a deluxe edition of their EP of the same title)
- Everything Sucks (2020)
- Everything is Beautiful (2020)
- 1992 (2016)
- G.O.A.T. (2017)
- Honeysuckle (2015, as Destiny)
- A Girl Cried Red (2018)
- Ratking – "Puerto Rican Judo" from So It Goes (2014)
- Mykki Blanco – "Wish You Would" from Spring/Summer 2014 (2014)
- Ratking – "Steep Tech" from 700-Fill (2015)
- K. Michelle – "Outro" from Kimberly: The People I Used to Know (2017)
- Show Me the Body – "Spit" from Corpus I (2017)
- Josh Forehead – "Fanta" from Summer 2014 (2017)
- Silverstein - "Madness" from A Beautiful Place to Drown (2020)
Awards and nominations
Sweden GAFFA Awards
Delivered since 2010, the GAFFA Awards (Swedish: GAFFA Priset) are a Swedish award that rewards popular music awarded by the magazine of the same name.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result||Ref.|
|2018||Themself||Best Foreign New Act||Nominated|