In honor of Model Behaviors’ Ethereal Summer, I had to share this earth-loving, goddess-praising song. Puerto Rican artist Destiny Frasqueri, out of New York City, does the vocals on Princess Nokia, whom she describes as being her alter ego.
Formally known as Wavy Spice, Frasqueri clearly merges influence from Taino (indigenous people of Puerto Rico), hip-hop, soul, and more. She told Paper magazine, “I want to create a new sound. I won’t stop until I have an impact.” The experimental electronic music that Princess Nokia plays with can be found on their debut album Metallic Butterfly, which Frasqueri describes as “high-tech fairy girl music” (source).
The minute I heard “Young Girls” I immediately wanted to go bask in a sun patch in the middle of El Yunque, the Puerto Rican rainforest. The song starts with Frasqueri naming the greatness of women in spoken word.
We are old souls
Protectors of the earth
Guardians of children
Worshipers of the moon
Mermaids of the ocean
Followers of the sun
And women of magic.
We are witches.
We protect nature and fight against darkness
And we live in harmony amongst ourselves
and protect each other at all cost…
These words make me feel goddess-like, holy, and connected. The words were not intended for anyone but girls and women—a reminder to ourselves of our power and greatness. This song feels organic, natural, and raw even though she experiments with electronics. There is an acoustic sense to “Young Girls” that feels soft even with the strong, thrusting bass in the song. Her voice sounds like it’s distant, echoing through a forest supported by chimes and indigenous chants which you hear very clearly in the last minute of the song.
The lyrics are descriptive and magical, maybe sometimes feeling like they don’t really go together yet fitting so perfectly. She repeats the title in the chorus, “Young girls, patrons of the Earth, take care of all the Earth. They need their own respect, carry babies from their neck.” She illuminates the connection between women as caregivers, bearers of children, and keepers of life to MOTHER EARTH.
It’s also important to mention that she names “young girls” and not “women.” I see this as an underlying commentary of the responsibilities of young girls, responsibilities that are carried into womanhood.
The video reflects the communal goddess living and celebration of earth, family, and womanhood. Very indigenous in nature, the video is simple and matches the lyrics. “No phone ringing,” just “dancing and singing. Babies [is] peeing. Aunties [is] cleaning.” The song invites us to appreciate the joys of community, daily tasks, and moments often not revered as important.