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Princess Nokia is unafraid. During the 16-minute film directed by Orian Barki and produced by The FADER, the self-proclaimed New York aficionado commands the sidewalks of the Lower East Side and East Harlem. There's footage of intimate recording sessions, shots of some of her most beloved local spots, and vulnerable stoop conversations that all show the city's important connection to her work.
In the doc, Nokia shares the story of her life before she became an MC and it's clear that her honest rap persona is an extension of her truest self. Nokia doesn't shy away from talking about the hard times in her life and she reflects on her story with a certain tenderness, very much aware of what she survived.
In one of the final scenes of the film, Nokia stands before an excited crowd at her 1992 project release concert and looks towards her future and her past: "I had a lot of fun fucking making that record I’ll be honest with you, because I got to rap again. A lot of people used to ask me 'Why don’t you rap? Or why didn’t you continue rapping?' And I wasn't ready." After a short pause she continued, "I’m ready now."
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Cast: Destiny Frasqueri, Anastasia Rojas, John Ortiz, Deborah Frasqueri, Rafealina Sanchez, Samuel Burgess, Patrick “Wiki” Morales
Director and Editor: Orian Barki
Producers: Robert Semmer, Naomi Zeichner, Joseph Patel
Executive Producers: Andy Cohn, Rob Stone, Jon Cohen, Anthony Holland
Production Coordinator: Madison LaClair
Cinematography: Orian Barki
Additional Cinematography: Asia Gorbacheva, Mayan Toledano, Sam Balaban
Color: Stephen Picano
Sound Mix: Eugene Wasserman
Graphics: Dan G. Windsor
Special Thanks: Merien Bennani, Taeer Maymon