Entertainment

Princess Nokia Runs A Podcast, A Non-Profit And Is The Face Of A Major Fashion Brand

Rapper Princess Nokia, whose real name is Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, is the Boricua Bruja who refuses to abandon Puerto Rico during this extended crisis after Hurricane Maria. She is still fighting and raising money to provide aid to the devastated island.

For the last few weeks, Frasqueri has been working with NYC based non-profits to launch “Hood to la Genter.” This is a GoFundMe aimed to combine Frasqueri’s charitable efforts with the NGO’s organizing resources to actually help Puerto Ricans.

Here’s what we know about the cause and its champion.

Princess Nokia is a proud New York raised Puerto Rican woman.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

She grew up around East Harlem and the Lower East Side of New York City and was born as on June 14, 1992.

She is best known for her unapologetic feminist music.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

With lyrics like, “I love my little titties and my fat belly” under titles like “Tomboy y Bruja,” Princess Nokia has made herself known as a shameless intersectional feminist badass.

She even has a podcast called “Smart Girls Club” to talk about the realities of urban feminism.

CREDIT: Soundcloud

She told VICE that Smart Girl Club is “a safe space for me to decompress and turn my anger and my dissatisfaction into positive outlets. And I think that’s why safe spaces are always important; it’s one thing to feel the anger, but it’s always about finding a healthy solution for it.”

She started making viral music when she was 20 but her album, “1992 Deluxe” is what has launched her career.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

She told The Guardian, “Growing up in the 90s was the coolest thing to me. Listening to metal with my gothic babysitter, dancing to Kriss Kross, hanging out and listening to the music at the block party downstairs from my house, the cartoons I’d watch, seeing black representation and Latina representation on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, going to summer camp; oh, God, it’s so vivid, so significant.”

Princess Nokia’s mother died of AIDS when she was 10 years old.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

The rapper was in the foster care system after her mother died and dealt with abusive foster parents. She was in foster care between the ages of 9 and 16 until she could live with her grandmother.

Her foster mother was so physically abusive, she had to use makeup to cover a black eye in a school photo.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Princess Nokia calls her a “succubus.” She ran away with “three dollars in my pocket and 75 percent on my cell phone battery” to live on the streets.

The FADER released a documentary called “Destiny” that shares Princess Nokia’s unimaginable life story.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

In the documentary, she shares what it was like growing up in the foster system. She thanks that queer community around her that helped her harness her true self, even amidst the chaos of her violent home life.

Princess Nokia identifies as bisexual and is an avid advocate of LGBTQ+ rights.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

That girl is a tomboy and it looks great on her. In “Destiny,” she sums it up pretty easily when she yells at her dad in the kitchen, “Dad, I always been gay, right? [Dad:] Yup!”

The artist has always been real about what’s going on in her life.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Twitter

Her feed is a real treat. Plus, she really does fight the Trump administration and racists in the flesh. She has no issue with being loud about the injustices she encounters in her day-to-day life.

She made headlines when she threw hot soup on a racist subway passenger.

CREDIT: Evan Eddington / Twitter

It’s all on video. The person in question was shouting the “N” word on the train so passengers kicked him off at the next stop. When he tried to board the train again, Princess Nokia came at him with some hot soup. Dale.

The rapper has launched a relief initiative to help the still struggling Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Twitter

In an Instagram video, Princess Nokia wrote, “When the government intentionally neglects and actively works to hurt our people for profit, it’s on us to organize and fight for our communities. We understand as working class and oppressed peoples living in America, we are struggling in so many ways under the same system that is hurting the people of Puerto Rico. But when we combine the little bit we’ve got as individuals, we can make a huge impact.”

“We know we cannot trust the government or the millionaire non-profits aligned with it to fight for our people.”

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

How do we know? Because, “Almost a year after Hurricane Maria, the nation of Puerto Rico is still in a massive crisis. Puerto Rico has a higher poverty rate than any state in the U.S. Poverty has increased from 44 percent to 52 percent after the hurricane. Suicide rates have doubled.”

She even cancelled her Mexico City show to focus on her work for Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

In the GoFundMe, the musician wrote, “It is expected that Puerto Rico will lose close to a half million people by next year, resulting in ‘brain drain,’ which means leaving the island without doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists, and other trained professionals.”

No wonder she’s taking time to focus on the island.

The fund has raised more than $7,000 of it’s $12,000 goal.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

This is a grassroots initiative. If every person with a dollar to spare donated it to the organizations that have always been closely tied to Puerto Rico, lo mejor.

Princess Nokia is inspired by her daughter.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Caption: “The God Mother & Her Apprentice. Teaching her magic and self love every single day. Teaching her the importance of kindness, self esteem, and inner beauty. And what she teaches me… words could never explain. My little witch and old soul. My daughtaaaaaaaa, my twin ????✨????”

She’s been named the face of Betsey Johnson’s 2018 Fall Catalog.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

That means she’s bringing Boricua beauty even more mainstream. Princess Nokia has modeled for Calvin Klein and isn’t afraid to rap about it. (See: Tomboy)

She is also a big advocate for decriminalizing marijuana.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

I mean, there are the obvious reasons and then there is the fact that brown people are incarcerated far more often than white people for possession of marijuana.

While Princess Nokia gains worldwide fame, she isn’t turning her back on her roots.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Somos Americanos, pero por siempre somos Latinos. With more Puerto Ricans fleeing the island for a better life on the mainland, we’re responsible for maintaining what’s left of our mami’s homeland. There’s nobody else.

She released a powerful PSA that tells the world we’re on our feet and we’re fighting.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Caption Part 1: “Despite the attention Hurricane Maria has brought to the current struggle of my people in Puerto Rico, many are unaware of the centuries-long suffering Boricuas have endured in the form of colonialism. We created this campaign to spread knowledge on the poverty and exploitation Boricuas have survived under the boot of the US government.”

When you’re already sick about the negligence, get sick about Americans profiting off PR disaster.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Caption Part 2: “This video is a call to act in speaking out for the independence of the Puerto Rican people and to support organizations working to actually help the people. We can not stay silent while Puerto Ricans continue to suffer under the colonizer American government, which consistently places profit over the lives of the people and silences those who rise up to defend the people.”

Princess Nokia wants you to know that you can help.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

If you want to help, you can donate to Hood 2 la Genter or donate directly to these organizations: Sol es Vida, el Hormiguero, Luis Llorens Torres projects, Urbe Apie, the Puerto Rico Trans Youth Coalition and el Centro de Apoyo Mutuo de Utuado.


READ: J.Lo And A.Rod Share Moments From Their Trip To Puerto Rico And Announce A Donation Of 2 Million Dollars

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Vanessa Romo Marks The Cover Of Vogue México In A History-Making Feature

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Vanessa Romo Marks The Cover Of Vogue México In A History-Making Feature

vanesssaromo / Instagram

Vogue México knows a good trend when it comes to the fashion world. Their recent decision to feature model Vanessa Romo on the cover of their September issue proves that they also know a classic too. Speaking with Vogue México the model opened up about her career, challenges, and experiences that have allowed her to position herself as one of the modeling world’s most prominent figures.

The model with Mexican roots started out her career by modeling on small projects then moved up to uploading images to Instagram and eventually became discovered by Forever 21. Soon after, the North American fast-fashion brand offered Romo a collaboration and she was ultimately signed to an agent.

Now she’s Vogue México’s September model.

In her interview with Vogue, Romo says that the first time she saw plus-size models on a runway, her view of the fashion industry completely shifted.

Seeing women with bodies just like hers, made Romo feel represented in a way that was beautiful and confident. Speaking to Vogue México, Romo explains that she struggled her first two years as a model because she was still in college at University of California, Santa Bárbara. Because of her Latin roots, Romo studied Chicano Studies and Spanish. Her interest led her to continue to explore her identity and Romo decided to audition for Nuestra Belleza Latina on Univision in 2018.

Romo told Vogue that she decided to take part in the competition because she knew there was a need for this representation in the Latino community. When she finished the contest, she realized that she needed to continue breaking expectations for models.

“With this new inspiration, she decided to learn to love her body. Modeling and fashion were for her a way of exploring her own confidence and growing her,” Vogue México revealed. “The power of modeling captivated her so much that it was then that she realized that she herself wanted to be part of the change. Just as she needed empowerment, she knew that there were so many girls and women who needed it equally.”

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Cardi B’s Balenciaga Dreams Have Officially Come True! — She’s Their Latest Face

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Cardi B’s Balenciaga Dreams Have Officially Come True! — She’s Their Latest Face

Theo Wargo / Getty

Fans of Cardi B know that the big-time rapper has long loved Balenciagas (particularly the ones that look like socks)!

As it turns out the feelings between the high-end fashion brand and the “WAP” rapper are 100% mutual. This week, Balenciaga revealed the face of its new campaign and it’s your girl Cardi B.

This week, Balenciaga debuted Cardi B as the face of its winter 2020 campaign.

In the images of her new Balenciaga campaign, Cardi can be seen wearing a midnight blue evening gown while lying down on a sprawling colorful lawn.

The Balenciaga ad featuring Cardi is currently strung up outside the Louvre in Paris. According to Dazed, the photo (which shows Cardi rocking a black bob while lying amongst a bunch of children’s toys) was self-shot in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Cardi’s appearance makes for a big-time Afro-Latina first.

It’s commonplace for fashion houses to use famous faces to model their clothes but Balenciaga has kept away from the practice up until now. Cardi’s appearance makes her the first celebrity that the luxury fashion house has ever tapped to head a campaign. Cardi’s appearance also makes it a first for the rapper who has never modeled for a major fashion house.  

Cardi’s celebrated the news on her Instagram.

“Ya looking at the face of a Balenciaga campaign!” she wrote. “I remember how I felt seeing myself on a billboard in NYC Times Square but Paris! Wish I was there to see it in person!”

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