Princess Nokia had always been transparent about her refusal to be put in a box. In an interview with NME back in 2017, she elaborated on her plurality: “I enjoy what I enjoy, and yeah, sometimes I’m a skater, sometimes I’m a goth kid, I’m a raver, I’m a hippy, I’m a theatre nerd. I’m a weird kid. I’ve got so many personalities eatin’ me up inside. And I think that’s the basis of the music and my whole identity: not caring about not fitting in, y’know?”
Over the years, the rapper has showcased the multiplicity of her character within her discography and hasn’t failed to dazzle us. For the last five months, she had been dropping music that left us wanting more. Little did we know, the releases of “Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.)” and “Balenciaga” were previews of two distinct projects she would put out simultaneously, on February 26th: her albums Everything is Beautiful and Everything Sucks. The two candidly manifest distinct moods, with further stylistic variances within themselves.
The tenebrous hole of Everything Sucks
The first project, Everything Sucks, is a 10-track album Princess Nokia completed in just a week with Chris Lare. In it, the rapper makes it clear she’s not going to take crap from anyone. She raps in lead single “Practice”: “You know Princess be the mood for / Industry bitches who wanna be different / You still selling pop, who the fuck is you kidding? / But they copy and paste, but they can’t erase / My right or my place, I show them my face.”
Despite its unapologetic-ness, the album is also vulnerable: Princess Nokia opens up in many verses about her identity and life struggles (“Just a Kid” hits hard) in a dark combination of stream-of-consciousness and storyteller styles. We also get a glance at her gothic side, one that we had already seen before in her 2018 release, “A Girl Cried Red.”
The beam of light Everything is Beautiful incarnates
While Everything Sucks is unsparingly confrontational, Princess Nokia shows us an oppositional side in Everything is Beautiful. This complementary album, which took two years to finish, showcases an authentically optimistic mood. Musically, the 12 tracks colorfully draw from soul, R&B, Latin music and hip-hop, among other global styles.
And lyrically, we are shown that the rapper’s personality and identity are just as colorful! As she states in “Gemini”: “Intelligent, adaptable, agile, communicative / Informative, creative, and everybody hates it / Imagination colorful and I just entertain it / A poet and a dreamer, I’ma seize the world and take it.”
Everything Sucks and Everything is Beautiful balance each other like yin and yang. They are the products of someone who finds beauty in embracing their identity, in all their dimensions. And perhaps, we may also learn something from that.
Listen to the albums >here<
Featured Image: Princess Nokia Facebook