Earlier this week, Princess Nokia (whose real name is Destiny Frasqueri) dropped the video for ‘Brujas’, a track from her self-released album 1992. The song, which explores her Afro-Nuyorican heritage is complemented by a beautifully composed video, co-directed by Istanbul-born New York director Asli Baykal.
The song itself is underlayed with a jungle-esque beat, produced by Blanco and DJ Bass Bear,that emphasises Princess Nokia’s flow and ensures that her sharp verses stick with you throughout the video.
The video emphasises the power of the female group dynamic, and in particular the strong spiritual community of women of the African diaspora. She draws on Santeria and Yoruba spirituality to emphasise the many nuances of her own heritage: “I’m that Blackorican bruja. Straight out from the Yoruba, and my people come from Africa-diaspora Cuba”
The video exemplifies the connection that women in the Diaspora feel to the strength of deities like the Yoruba Orishas. In the video, Destiny and her sisters gather together in the forest, dressed as if they were deities themselves, to pray and channel the spirits. There is a sense of magic and witchcraft as she warns “Don’t you f*** with my energy!”.
The video is reminiscent of Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ video, which explores the same idea of black-female strength. As ‘Formation’ was a battle-cry, a call for black women to come together in excellence, Princess Nokia’s ‘Brujas’ is a response- as if to say “I am here. I am excellent”.