Everything is Beautiful/Everything Sucks
Everything is Beautiful and Everything Sucks is not only a life motto for any observant person living in the world but also the names of the two (!!!) albums that were dropped today by the enigmatic Princess Nokia. The New York City based hip hop artist/actor/activist/radio host, all around renaissance person, has been shaking things up in all these arenas since 2017 and now we are treated to a couple surprise releases. Nokia fills this space that has been left open by such artists as M.I.A and OFWGKTA, not necessarily because of the type of music they create but the attitude that forms the foundation of what they do. There’s a refreshing, don’t give a fuck, genre hopping, do what I’m gonna do and say what I’m going to say perspective that is missing from so much music in general these days. While the proceedings may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is no doubt that Princess Nokia is so good at what they do and listeners, whether they are newly anointed or hardcore fans should find themselves interested in easing into the world they allow to show us.
One of the engaging things about these two albums is how much that they actually compliment each other. They are literally two sides of the story, not only in content but in all aspects musically and the production and even how Nokia performs on each record. Everything is Beautiful has an effervescence and openness to it while Everything Sucks is claustrophobic and angular. Each release serves to prop the other one up. The highs hit higher and the lows lower because we are allowed to witness each side of these. Starting off with Everything Is Beautiful with it’s very 90s style production. The opening track, “Green Eggs & Ham”, kicks off with with it’s Motown-y style backing, all bopping bass and hand claps and Nokia’s flow just floating over everything. The dichotomy is while the whole endeavour does seem bubbly, they do not shy away from actually speaking on real and upsetting issues such as police brutality and physical abuse. On the flip side of the coin, Everything Sucks kicks off with “Harley Quinn”, which is one giant, exposed nerve. Dark trap-y beats and raw sputter from Nokia lashing out at anything and everything in her sights. Tracks like “Gemini’ and “Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T)” off of Everything Is Beautiful are pop perfection with perfect performances and production that any artist would love to have as a single released in 2020. While songs like “Crazy House” and “Welcome To The Circus” from Everything Sucks are sinister bursts of horror core that similarity would be amazing tracks from any artist. Princess Nokia shows off how actually impressive a talent she is. Working in these disparate styles, they make them each uniquely their own.
It’s uncommon for any artist to release what is essentially a double concept album in this day and age. People don’t seem to have the attention span to soak up much more than just singles anymore. What Princess Nokia has done with Everything Is Beautiful and Everything Sucks is pretty monumental. They are dissecting the human condition, which is what most artists hope to achieve, but does it on such a visceral level, never too on the nose, that their perspective is crystal clear. Everything is Beautiful and Everything Sucks is such a perfectly real, hilarious, frivolous and strangely profound life observation and in turn, two wonderfully impressive albums that can be described as perfectly real, hilarious, frivolous and profound, and in certain cases profoundly heartbreaking, by this immensely talented and still growing artist.
Welcome To The Circus
Fi Fie Foe
I Like Him
Just A Kid
Everything Is Beautiful
Green Eggs & Ham
Wash & Sets
Sugar Honey Iced Tea
Soul Food y Adobo
Sunday Best ft. Oshun, Onyx Collective
I am Free