Princess Nokia – “Don’t you fuck with my energy” (live review)

February 12 2017 PN

Princess Nokia, LSDXOXO @ Sigurdsgade, 7.2.2017 – review by Ivna Franić / photo: Lea Anić

“I step in this bitch and I do what I want
I don’t give a damn and I don’t give a fuck”

As hoped for, Princess Nokia stays true to her words – giving neither a damn nor a fuck as she tears down Sigurdsgade. She doesn’t waste any time either, dropping two of her biggest (or at least most recent) hits early into the show. The amusing “Tomboy” proves to be a good choice for kicking things off, and following it up with the combative “Kitana” definitely helps maintain the high level of energy on stage as well as in the crowd. Although such strategy can be risky due to its potential to make the rest of the show seem less intense, it paid off. Princess Nokia thankfully had enough inspiration to keep things cranked up to 11 for most of her performance. It probably also helped that so much happened during the show, it’s difficult to recount.

“You come to my party
You gon’ meet my army
A room full of girls and we acting real rowdy”

Princess Nokia, real name Destiny Frasqueri, first made sure she invited all the girls, women of color, muslim women to come forward and take the front rows. (Come to think of it, this actually was a rare example of a gig with a dominantly female audience.) Those in the back didn’t need to worry about not seeing enough of Frasqueri, who ended up spending most of the time on stage standing on a gear case in order to better interact with the crowd. And interaction with the audience seems to be one of her live show’s priorities. Crowd-surfing, hugging, passing on the mics well as, uh, some other things, and giving passionate speaches left little time for a break from the intense live experience. (Thunderous “Kitana”, last year’s baby sister to Junglepussy’s 2015 tour-de-force “You Don’t Know”, remains one of the highlights both of the 1992 mixtape and the current live show).

“Don’t you fuck with my energy”

Returning from one of her brief crowd-surfing excursions, Frasqueri noticed the worried security guy and shouted “Mr. Man! Come and get me!”. The dude unexpectedly stepped up and played his part, in an actually amusing manner. The friendship, however, did not last for long. Shortly after her charged feminist speech, someone from the audience reported a guy for inappropriate behaviour, and Princess Nokia didn’t hesitate to demand he be thrown out of the club. When the aforementioned security guy wasn’t sure whether to do as told, she got into a fight with him as well, and the promoter seemed to have been no less taken aback by the situation. Frasqueri ultimately got her way and stated that she had been planning to end the show but now she had motivation to play some more, much to the audience’s delight.

“Prefer the sweetheart chick to my bitch attitude”

It might, however, still be a little early to inhabit the female/queer/WoC Messiah role she’s so eager to take on, especially considering how casually she denounced feminism’s relation to politics, opting for mainstream pop’s typically individualist approach. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise, though, coming from someone confidently claiming to be this generation’s leading female rapper. Nevertheless, Princess Nokia is a natural performer with an attention-grabbing stage presence and a vigorous delivery that make her live show an incredibly intense and insanely fun experience. Judging by the ecstatic reactions from the crowd throughout her performance, Copenhagen promoters would do good to book more of compelling female acts such as Princess Nokia.

“Kitana kitana kitana kitana!”

Info: Princess Nokia returns to Denmark this summer to play at Roskilde Festival.