Published Apr 18, 2018Princess Nokia is known for her versatility as an artist, but this year, she's starting off with her new mixtape, A Girl Cried Red, which straddles a line between emo, alternative and rap. This might come off as a surprise to her new fans, but it's not necessarily a surprise to her die-hard older fans.
If you've been a fan of Princess Nokia before she was even Princess Nokia, you'd know that she went under the name Destiny. Her first release was "Soul Train," a soulful, funky record. With her ability to make other soulful tracks, like "Apple Pie Princess," she also created "Versace Hottie," a boastful club-type banger. She even went under the name of Wavy Spice for the track "Bitch I'm Posh" before her music career blew up as Princess Nokia.
Her experimentation didn't stop there; her Metallic Butterfly album three years ago revealed influences that included trip-hop, jungle, electronic synths, soft vocals, cyber, digital and futurist sounds, all combined into one project. After releasing her first full rap album, 1992 (followed by the beefed-up 1992 (Deluxe)), it should come as no surprise that she'd drop an alternative-emo project. Princess Nokia has fully embraced her femininity, spirituality, upbringing, weirdness and vulnerability.
A Girl Cried Red takes you back in time to the nostalgia of your emo days. Even the title is a reference to her favourite Dance Gavin Dance track "The Robot with Human Hair."
The rest of the mixtape shows an honest approach to what she went through in creating the project. She starts with the lines "It won't even hurt, I'm already dead (I'm already dead), voices in my head, monsters under my bed, I'm alone again, I lost all my friends." She speaks of being on tour, losing relationships (including her boyfriend Michael), replacing feelings with money and falling apart in the process. However, she reassures her listeners in "Look Up Kid" that everything we are going through will be okay in the end.
With all her experimentations with guitar ("Flowers and Rope"), Auto-Tune melodies ("For the Night") straight-out emo alternative sounds and lyrics ("Look Up Kid") and more, Princess Nokia might have just blessed up with a project our inner teenager/child needed, even if we didn't want or expect it. (Rough Trade)