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The unapologetic beauty of Princess Nokia

A look inside the style of the female rapper that is redifining femininity

The unapologetic beauty of Princess Nokia A look inside the style of the female rapper that is redifining femininity

Princess Nokia is a proud Afro-Latina who embraces her culture and addresses the racism and sexism she experienced in her life. Born in Manhattan, she made her way from East Harlem to the Lower East Side until finally landing in the Bronx. She brings her feminist, non-binary, good-vibes to every instrumental she gives words. She identifies as a Bruja (a witch, ndr) and a tomboy, a classic New York Boricua shorty, a queer woman who isn’t burdened but empowered by her complexity. To her is very important to have a female community, she hopes what girls convey from her words is that ‘It is ok to be unapologetic as long as you do it with dignity’. She admitted that she likes Marvel comics because characters look like her and women don’t have roles that make them look too sexual.

She feels like an outcast, she aims to be the ‘Epitome of not cool and make that cool’. Her lyrics enhance the underrepresented culture of women of color. She is unapologetically herself through her songs that tell a narrative of an orphan living in the big city. Her rap verses include conversations about hair diversity, white supremacy and descriptions of New York City, such as a “Melting pot and the soup is never cold.” She sees the blood splitting in all the lines that compose New York City. As well as being a speedily rising rap star, Princess Nokia is also a dealer of vigilante justice. She claimed responsibility for throwing hot soup in the face of a racist on a subway train, before kicking him off said train with other commuters. The incident was captured on video, which she shared, with the question "Any other racists wanna try us again?”. Another time she got offstage at a Cambridge University event and slapped a male audience member who she said had been mouthing “Show me your tits” at her, telling the crowd “That’s what you do when a white boy disrespects you.”

The most iconic line of her famous hit, "Tomboy", is a great starting point to get into Nokia's mind and understand the message she wants to send: "I could take your man if you finna let me / With my small tits and my fat belly. " She undertakes a more masculine presence for her "Tomboy" video, then embraces her powerful feminine persona in her "Young Girls." In “G.O.A.T” she raps about how successful she is and is the greatest of all time. Her latest track “Balenciaga” sees her getting fully naked and never ashamed. Her confidence is transparent through her lyrics. 

As we anticipated here, after three long years, Princess Nokia is ready to make her comeback to Italy with an unmissable show next March, 3 in Milan at Santeria Toscana. Tickets for the show are available here



Nokia embraces hip hop aesthetics as she believes hip hop is the poetry of the ghetto. As far as her beauty go-to’s, she says that a bold, strong lipid bright eye never fails. You’ll find her wearing dark lips and cat-eye one day and then a simple neutral lip and natural eyes the day after. Her biggest makeup advice is to learn how to enhance your eyebrows because "it will change your life." According to Nokia, her style is casual and laid back — although when she performs, she likes to wear something impeccable and flamboyant. As for her makeup, she prefers something that brightens her up and (hopefully) lasts all day. 


"The value of a woman is not based on her outward appearance. So if you've got acne, if you have got lines—girl, I got them too! Embrace your lines. Embrace the wrinkles. Embrace the discoloration, because what else are you going to do?" Along with embracing what others may see as imperfections, the "Balenciaga" rapper says highlighting her natural freckles and incorporating coffee into her weekly self-care routine make her skin a winner every day.


Princess Nokia constantly reinvents herself, both musically and aesthetically. The cover art for her first single as Princess Nokia, “Versace Hottie,” found the Bronx-born rapper looking like a Victoria’s Secret Angel in a pair of white wings and a lacy black bra. In “Metallic Butterfly”, she weaved together references to anime, hackers, and feminism. In the Hackers-esque video for “Cybiko,” the rapper played video games and commandeered multiple laptop screens, which felt appropriate given the song’s refrain: “Confessions of a cybergirl/Escaping out the Matrix world.” Then she was channeling a Tomboy look with her laid-back ’90s style, including baggy sweatpants, oversized T-shirts, chunky white New Balances, and Calvin Klein sports bras. 

The following G.O.A.T. she was wearing a bandana under a cap and a bikini top under an oversized football jacket for Nokia’s breakout full-length debut “1992 deluxe”. In Paris, though, she’s been seen cosplaying as a chic French girl: she looked right at home sitting outside a café, cigarette, and espresso in hand. Nokia may be dressing like a jeune fille right during Paris Fashion Week with a fresh pair of Chanel sneakers and a rosy Equihua blanket coat, which designer Brenda Equihua makes from San Marcos blankets, but she’s still finding ways to pay tribute to her Latina heritage, too. "Flava," is an immensely empowering ode to self-love and sisterhood that begins with a monologue on how those concepts exist in today's mainstream media.

"You don't know what it is to be me, and I don't know what it is to be you. That is because we are made different from each other. But all girls are meant to shine. All girls are meant to be something special in this world, even when they told they not supposed to be," she whispers in a voiceover that addresses the cultural appropriation of urban beauty. "First they make fun of you. Then they want to be you".

The music video's monologue is set to hazy, neon-lit close-ups of Nokia and her girlfriends doing each other's hair in your dream teenage bedroom. From the video cuts to a subversive remix of uptown opulence, showing the four girls strutting down 5th Avenue in pearls, pastel skirt suits, and color-coordinated hats — except for trans model Maya Monès, who has streaks of pink and yellow embedded into her waist-length braids. Definitely an inspiration for your next look.