2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Reasonable Doubt from Brooklyn-bred Jay-Z and Beats, Rhymes, and Life from Queens legends A Tribe Called Quest. But 90s New York City rap still feels forceful. Tribe, incidentally, has just dropped a phenomenally prophetic new album after almost two decades. 24-year-old i-D fave Princess Nokia — who grew up between Harlem, The Bronx, and the Lower East Side — recently released her own highly nuanced tribute to the era with 1992. The 9-track mixtape incorporates club anthems, cartoon references, her Afro-Latino heritage, and plenty of modern black and brown girl magic.
One of the mixtape’s standout tracks, the Atrak and Lex Luger-produced banger “Kitana,” now has a music video that’s as heavy-hitting as the lyrics. “I step in this bitch, and I do what I want / I don’t give a damn, and I don’t give a fuck” is followed by references to Atari and Mortal Kombat. The clip sees Nokia — aka Destiny Frasqueri — take over a basketball court with a power squad of women of color. Their knotted t-shirts and Calvin Klein sports bras are paired with plastic cups, snow cones, boxing gloves, and bloody noses.
Text Hannah Ongley