Princess Nokia, the eclectic New York rapper, urban feminist, and self-proclaimed bruja has released a new single entitled “Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.)” with an accompanying music video. She uplifts women, praises Yemaya, challenges beauty standards, and wins a beauty pageant all in one visual.
Princess Nokia has always shared her spirituality and connection to Santeria on her social platforms as well as in her music. The visual for her new single Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.) is another nod to Afro Caribbean culture. The videos for Young Girls and Brujas can attest to the longterm pride of her spirituality. Nokia is often found praising Yemaya, the Goddess of the ocean and motherhood in Santeria. The Orisha (God(ess)) is often depicted as a dark-skinned woman of color, in water, and dressed in blue and white. Scenes in this video parallel these depictions. Princess Nokia dances in front of the pool by the blue pageant backdrop decorated with blue, silver, and white balloons. In the final winning pageant look, Nokia wears a veil and airy pale blue dress signifying Yemaya as well. Generational spirituality and femininity are shown in this video with the older black woman awarding Princess Nokia with her winning crown and Nokia passing it on to a young girl at the closing of the video.
This single and visual seems to be a reintroduction to Princess Nokia, sort of a “if you did not know me before, listen up because its the last time I’m going to let y’all know” moment. She raps the lines “I’ve got no hate in my heart/ I think it’s funny I rap/ I did not bang in these streets/ I did not trap in the trap”. The lyrics that accompany the brass filled uptempo beat both connect and distinguish her from the typical idea of a rapper. She addresses her haters for being lazy, mad, and jealous about her rise to fame while encouraging her opposition to have a better work ethic, prayer, and passion- the things she attributes to her success. Her rhymes can be seen as braggadocios but, of her self progression and accomplishments, not of material things.
Her lyrics also restate her social and political views. She is for healing and empowering black and brown people with a specialty in women and the youth. She is against drama and violence but, will not hesitate to punch a racist, bigot, or abuser. The line “If Colin Kap was a woman then I’d be dead on one knee” shows her dedication to women which is also evident in the founding her collective, Smart Girl Club. Female rappers are often depicted as catty and pit against each other in senseless drama but, when Princess Nokia said she doesn’t fight with girls she meant it. The video opens with female camaraderie, Princess Nokia and Maliibu Miitch registering for this beauty pageant dressed in motor gear with less than proper etiquette. The rest of the contestants are a mixture of women of color of various sizes and colors, wearing their fair naturally, in afros, faux locs and more.
Princess Nokia disrupts European beauty standards by celebrating black and other women of color in a beauty pageant setting, as well as rejects dominant religious practices in the depictions of Santeria all in 3 minutes while serving Motorcross, pageant queen, Santeria realness.
This is the first single she has released since her album, A Girl Cried Red. Hopefully, this means there is more new music to follow. Until then, enjoy the magic that is Princess Nokia by watching the video below!