Princess Nokia

I love you but this is goodbye (Arista)




Critics Music

“I wrote you this album for my closure” is pretty on the nose as refrains on breakup records go, but Princess Nokia has never shied away from being heart-on-sleeve. Over the past decade, the Puerto Rican, New York City rapper-singer (real name Destiny Frasqueri) has shapeshifted sonically many times, between everything from pared-down east coast MC inflections to melodic emo and boisterous, cartoonish pop. What has tied it all together is Frasqueri’s self-assurance, even while showing her vulnerability. This latest EP, “a 7 song love letter to myself”, runs the gamut of genres and feelings. There are sped-up, Auto-Tuned vocals, be that on the skittering pop-punk of Closure and the colourful electro-pop rave of Complicated. There’s the glossy melancholy of Lo Siento, the vicious rap of Angels & Demons and the warmth of Gorillaz-interpolating Happy. All threaded together with the classic hip-hop trope of voicemails, of (presumably) her ex checking in while she ignores him, this borderline chaotic EP is testament to Frasqueri’s talent, ambition and willingness to share the quickfire rawness of her emotion.