For some reason I’ve had Kool & The Gang’s”Ladies Night” rolling around my head. But the thing is though, it actually isn’t Kool & The Gang, it’s Lil Kim, Angie Martinez, Left Eye, DaBrat & Missy Elliot. Surprisingly enough it’s the precursor to the weekend here. So today, yeah, it’s ladies night and it feels so apropos.
For whatever reason, I wasn’t initially jumping on the Princess Nokia bandwagon last year with her 1992 Mixtape release. A month after its release I paid it a bit more attention probably because of the notoriety she was receiving after dumping a bowl of soup over someone on the subway.
But things change and her debut, Metallic Butterfly (Rough Trade), originally releases back in 2014, is remastered and expanded to include bonus tracks. The young Puerto Rican NewYorker’s album holds a lot of sublime creativity throughout it, that does require everyone’s attention. You’d be hard pressed to sit through the album without hitting that repeat button often before coming to it’s close, giving you a clear and open path to the road Nokia started on. While her obsessions may have laid to waste all those in her path, obliterating contemporaries in her way with nothing but sheer talent, her music and deliveries are multifaceted.
She moves from eerie beauty on the brief “Dimensia,” to breathy repetition on “Hands Up,” to creating a singsong rap with “Young Girls,” her ode to women, at times even possibly giving a look into her own youth; what she needed for herself but was stifled. It ends with Native American chants, which slowly crescendos, giving the track a much earthier effectiveness. But Princess Nokia’s appeal is far reaching as “Cybiko” attests where her singing is placed on hold as she raps though it with a sweet delivery overlayered tones and sounds, and hypnotic beats.
And then the frenetic beat of “Dragons” drops. Its feel is anthemic and has been known to stir the crowd during her live shows and there’s a reason for it with the heavy bottom end relentlessly creeping in and around her love song. Repeat. That is until “Bikini Weather / Corazon En Afrika” drops. The Latino dub riddims are in full effect with Princess Nokia spitting in both English & Spanish and the song showcases her own diversity and uniqueness.
There are three bonus tracks added, the trippy “Anomaly,” a playful & bouncy “Earth Is My Playground,” and disdainful and danceable “Versace Hottie” that points fingers without directing them at anyone. With Metallic Butterfly Princess Nokia gives everyone evidence as to why she is deserving of the accolades she receives. Couple that with bonus tracks and you might say she far outreaches banger status and is on her way into brilliance.