There is a superstar radiating energy on stage to a sea of screaming fans. She is electrifying, surprising, supreme. Her name is Princess Nokia and she’s a Puerto Rican rapper from New York City and she is the next big name in hip-hop.
The things that make Princess Nokia amazing were all on display last night during an electrifying show at The Granada, put on by KJHK 90.7 FM and SUA at KU. The Afro-Puerto Rican rapper and singer burst onstage with the energy that rivaled an entire football team blasting through a banner. She immediately tore into some of her most hard-hitting tracks, like “Tomboy,” “Kitana,” and “Brujas.”
The crowd, which was filled prominently with women of all ages and races, shouted along to each and every word. Nokia smiled and seemed to appreciate the love that was radiating back at her from the audience. In turn, she gave that love right back with every song she performed.
Right off the bat, Nokia made it clear that her shows are safe spaces for freedom of expression and spirit. Women and men of all genders and identities are welcome to turn up and feel confident in themselves, and if they didn’t, she would fix it. It’s an especially important aspect of concerts- to feel comfortable. With an impassioned speech outlining how the show would go, she raced into more bangers and crowdsurfed on her adoring fans on a giant inflatable piece of pizza.
Princess Nokia’s rapping ability is in the same vein as the elite of female rappers- Missy Elliot, Lil Kim, Ms. Lauryn Hill. Nokia is able to spit bars on top of these crazy, hard-hitting beats. She catches every word and delivers them with ferocity, like a true New York rapper.
The energy in the venue was on a different level than I’ve ever seen it before. People came to this show to dance, to get wild, and to feel empowered. There were dance circles all throughout the crowd, and the pit was a hot, crowded zone of die-hard fans with fire in their voices as they rapped along.
It was a special moment in Lawrence, last night. A true artist, on a rise to success that will be seen in astonishment a few years from now, touched down in this small town, and made her presence known. Princess Nokia is a unique, unparalleled artist, and to experience her live is the embodiment of all these features. Much like Chance the Rapper played a small venue in 2013 and is now performing on festival stages, the same will almost undoubtedly happen for this gem of a talent.