Princess Nokia, born as Destiny Frasqueri, is a New York raised artist with Afro-Puerto Rican descent. She is not only a musical creative but she is also an activist – who shows strong support to feminism as well as people of colour. Her unapologetic personality is a breath of fresh air in a time where being unique is shunned – and for that, she is this weeks muse for “Inspired by”.
If you’re new here, first of all welcome. Secondly, you should be informed that I have a strong connection with Gemini’s. Some of the greatest people were/are Gemini’s, such as Tupac, Lauryn Hill and Destiny (Princess Nokia) – as well as my close friends and nephew Romeo. I’m usually drawn to Gemini’s but I’ve never known why. It wasn’t until I read that Destiny said, “I’m a Gemini, I embrace duality,” that I could pinpoint it. It’s the embracing of duality that my energy is attracted to, they’re either or – never mediocre.
Destiny embraces every part of herself publicly, whether it’s deemed to be cool or not. To many people, myself included, she’s flawless because of her honesty. She doesn’t try to fit into a mould and knows that she is fabulous – or a fab bitch as she’s described herself – whether she is wearing dirty trainers or a dainty elegant gown.
She is absolutely beautiful, and she knows it, but she doesn’t treat others like she is above them. She should inspire those who watch her moves that you can be pretty and poppin’, have substance and intellect, be a tomboy and Versace hottie, and still be a clean hearted person – all at the same damn time.
Her level of self-love isn’t matched by many, it’s rare and refreshing – but it didn’t come over night. Her life has not been an easy journey.
When Destiny was a child, her mother died of AIDS and her grandmother passed away shortly after that. Due to physically losing the two women that every young girl should be able to look to for guidance, at such a young age, she was put into foster care – in a home that she was abused in.
The people who had a duty of care to raise and protect Destiny abused her, and she couldn’t tell anybody because her carer also worked with her school. Children in school would ask if her foster mother hit her because she went to school with black eyes, yet she had to suffer in silence. She couldn’t escape home because the fear followed her to her education, which is enough to break anyone – yet here she stands unbroken.
Aged 16, with 75% battery on her phone and three dollars, Destiny ran away from her foster home – ending up around the Lower East Side with her father. This is all detailed completely in her documentary “Destiny”. She also started recording songs once she ran away, but didn’t release them until she turned 18.
Her first track, also entitled “Destiny”, released under the name Wavy Spice, vastly became popular. Subsequently, she released “Bitch I’m Posh” – which also went viral.
Destiny is an incredibly creative and intelligent individual. Her diversity and honest personality draw people in to her almost instantly, making people from all walks of life relate to her in some way. After releasing two tracks, she had built a loyal fan base – and then she released “YAYA”. YAYA is an in-depth track about her Taino background and her perceptions of colonial history, which gained Destiny a lot more attention.
With a bigger platform, and realising that she was actually being heard, she decided to put her platform to good use. She started speaking out about LGBT rights and feminism. She pours love out into the universe in abundance and uses her platform to raise awareness to the issues that people want to ignore.
Destiny also used her platform to start releasing projects such as ‘Metallic Butterfly’, ‘Honeysuckle’ and ‘1992’. None of her projects are the same as one another, her sound is versatile and eclectic. Her music always sounds different yet her fan base is only expanding because she puts deep meaning into her art (lyrics, sounds etc.) – nothing is ever a waste of time with her.
In between project releases she changed her moniker to her alter-ego – Princess Nokia. However, in between that process I found myself bonded with the artist.
Honeysuckle confirmed to me that I would be spiritually bound to the artist for life – she literally became my soul sister at that point. Specifically, her powerful spoken-word peace entitled “Brown Girl Blues” was something that I resonated with deeply. In her words, speaking of Brown Girl Blues: “Black activism has always been apart of my life. I was really trying to summarize a woman who was in the middle of a time of racial unrest.”
At a time where I was going through a transitional rebirth, I spent a lot of time in solitude. Stripping myself of everything that the world tried to put onto me and just existing as who I am from the shade of my skin, through the blood in my veins and down to the soul that shines out of my being.
Once I felt comfortable enough within myself, I started to attract nothing but likeminded people and familiar energies – and finding Destiny, Princess Nokia, was perfectly timed to that moment.
Being an Afro-indigenous Caribbean woman myself, with complete pride in my background and my people, to see someone embrace the same roots automatically made me warm to her even more. It’s not easy living in a world that, society tries to convince you, isn’t made for you, when you know that your ancestors built this world.
Your ancestors created so much and their hard work goes unnoticed because insecure – and racist – people try and take credit for it. It’s also hard when you have inherited special characteristics such as being a witch… being a spiritual being – in a world that doesn’t believe in anything that isn’t “socially acceptable”.
You’re called weird, gross, strange, delusional, crazy, psychotic… the list goes on. Instead of being called a Queen, which is exactly what you are.
The track “Brujas” became my prayer – and that’s with no exaggeration. My nightly ritual for years has been to sit under the moon and stars at night, and listen to music or podcasts – or sometimes just talk to the universe. Brujas became a part of that ritual, and I began to – which I still do – recite it to the moon and stars. Sometimes surrounded by crystals, sometimes with sage or incense burning or with my herbal teas – most times all three combined.
Being in touch with my spirituality and being a bruja has always caused me issues when it came to how others perceived me – unless they were also a witch or psychic. I couldn’t explain why I knew the things I knew or why I could do things that others couldn’t do.
I couldn’t explain why I was so different to other people, not because I have trouble articulating myself (clearly I don’t) but because people just wouldn’t comprehend. Being a bruja is a personal experience and unless you’re also full of magic, you’ll never completely understand what the life is like.
So, as simple as possible, when you’re a witch and don’t know any others, that alone feeling is intense. People would laugh or call me unrealistic, delusional even, because it’s not something that can be hidden easily – so I stopped leaving my house. That was until Princess Nokia loudly and proudly put Brujas out in the universe and it reached me – I stopped hiding instantly.
Brujas gave me a safe place in a world full of disbelief, and made me feel like someone was speaking up for me – and all of my worldwide sisters alike. Those of us who are usually seen as outcasts were included, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. It was FUBU… for us, by us.
Another thing that I absolutely adore about her is the fact that she’s a female in Hip Hop.
If you know me then your response should always be ‘Hip Hop’ if ever asked what my favourite genre of music is – yet it’s not just a genre of a music. It’s a cultural and it’s what I was raised in. There’s a lifestyle that comes with it and personality traits that only others brought up in Hip Hop can identify with.
Destiny is from my generation, and our parents are from the generation that birthed Hip Hop. Our parents, although countries apart, all experienced the Hip Hop culture as it was a new beginning and engrained a lot of what came with that life into us.
Then, we were raised in a world where things changed – literally (as in time) moving forward but theoretically speaking, it’s moving backwards. The direction it was supposed to go in, as a Hip Hop baby, was supposed to be towards a place of inclusivity, equality, and more love. It’s gone the complete opposite way.
Yet, some of us are holding onto Hip Hop… holding onto fighting for a good purpose… holding onto activism and letting our people know that we care… holding onto the fact that we’re kings and queens and intelligence is sexier than lip fillers and fake booty’s. I’m one of those people, and so is Destiny – and I’m sure that a lot of her other fans are also those kind of people, which is why our energies all attract one another. Spiritual soul sisters all over the world.
NB. When I meet or speak to other Princess Nokia supporters, I find that we relate on an unreal level.
When you support someone that is genuine and is truly like-minded, you will find that others who are listening are usually like-minded also. So not only does she exude Hip Hop but she creates a space for us Hip Hop babies – that don’t want to fit into the new school nonsense.
If you haven’t seen her speak about femininity in Hip Hop with Ab-Soul then that’s something you should really put on your to-do-list. You’re welcome.
Destiny doesn’t stand for any rubbish, also. She has strong beliefs and all of them are from a positive place. If she comes across those who are evil or full of hatred, she will check them and put them in their place. I’m the same, very chilled out for the most part but any kind of bullying, hatred, racism etc. turns me into the most confrontational person. You have to stand up for what’s right – period.
Whether she’s at her concert or on a train – she will defend her people, our people, against those who wish us harm – and for that I’m grateful. It’s a reminder that we should all keep fighting for good over evil, even if it feels like no ones listening because you never know who’s life it could change.
Destiny also founded a podcast, and platform, called the Smart Girls Club. Smart Girls Club discusses urban feminism and healthy living. Destiny is an urban feminist – which she explained, and described, thoroughly when in conversation at Brown University. She also cares about her health, mentally and physically – so what better person to share what she’s learned on her journey to other women?
Unfortunately, women don’t genuinely support each other enough in this generation – and men rarely support us either. That’s not to hurt anyone’s feelings, it’s just the fact of the matter. However, when women support and uplift one another great things can happen. Great things will happen – so we have to stick together and support one another as we try to better ourselves. It’s necessary. It’s vital.
Princess Nokia… Destiny… She is a great thing that has happened to us women and she is dedicated to inspiring, supporting and helping women all over the world be great too. She creates a safe haven for women, for people of colour, for the LGBT community, that is completely inclusive and positive – it’s home.
She inspired me to stop hiding parts of myself from the world, in fear that people won’t understand or get it. It doesn’t matter whether they get it as long as I believe in myself – and I’m doing things out of positivity and love. She inspired me to continue supporting women, even when it feels like they don’t appreciate it or they wouldn’t support me. It’s about doing what feels right, and pure, because I’m a good person – and not letting bad people take that away from me.
She inspired me to stop waiting until my insecurities were “fixed”, or doubting myself, and to chase my dreams as loud and proud as I possibly can. It may sound cliché but honestly, she inspired me to keep following my rightful path until I fulfill my destiny.
Thank you Destiny Frasqueri. Thank you Princess Nokia. As a recipient of the positive, motivating and protective energy that she puts out into the universe, I’m truly appreciative.