Princess Nokia’s newly released mixtape “A Girl Cried Red” is full of bright rock sounds with emo layers, put through a hip-hop lens and sewn together with painful lyrics. Princess Nokia has created an emo fueled mixtape that is not something to overlook, with a constantly shifting style that draws a range of emotions from the listener and feels alive with its scope.
1. “Flowers and Rope”
At the top of the mixtape, listeners are greeted with an innocent-sounding acoustic guitar. Nokia’s voice is bright and childlike, but her lyrics immediately take this song from a fun, poppy tune to a song that haunts you with lyrics like “It won’t even hurt, I’m already dead” and “Bring me your flowers, I’ll bring you my rope.”
2. “Your Eyes Are Bleeding”
On this track, Princess Nokia gives us more of an expected rap beat, with her voice exemplifying the pain that her lyrics are bringing across. The slow beat combined with hints of silence on this track brings a very lonely feeling that is pressed further with her singing “Everyone I love leaves me when I need them most” and “Got nothing to believe in, I’m not so lucky.”
3. “For The Night”
A song with an interesting beat that seems to be from a xylophone, with lyrics that go deeper into how Princess Nokia feels about her fame and the forced solidarity that comes from touring. “There I go on the road again/Losin’ my love while losin’ my friends.”
4. “Look up Kid”
This is a pop-punk song. With a drum beat that holds no hits of hip-hop and an electric guitar that runs throughout, it seems as though Princess Nokia is talking to her depressed self in hopes of encouraging and realizing a happy life. She sings to give context to how her depressed self is: “Your smile is a mask, you wear it so well,” and continues to encourage: “Look up kid/It gets better but you won’t even know it.”
Two guitar riffs dance together and create something beautiful, making “Interlude” an amazing addition to the album.
“Morphine” deals more with the alienating feelings that come with being famous and rich that the public doesn’t see. Princess Nokia solemnly delivers lyrics like “People think it’s fun and games but my life is really lonely” and “Got money like a blanket and I hold it when I’m lonely.” These lyrics come over a beat made up of electronic drums and electronic notes that are ethereal and direct, creating a dream-like feeling that helps convey the feeling of a non-stop dazed life that being on tour demands.
7. “At the Top”
A total shift from the previous themes of this mixtape, Princess Nokia throws this song into the mix with strong lyrics like “You can play pretend with your friends that I ain’t the shit/You can keep ignorin’ all the facts and what I really did.” As the album ends, it seems like Princess Nokia wanted to leave the listener with the sense that she was still tough and capable despite all of the brokenness that she displayed in previous tracks.
8. “Little Angel”
Princess Nokia sings over a melancholy guitar about the heartbreak, confusion, and guilt that she felt, leaving listeners with the lyrics, “I’ll celebrate and I’ll play pretend/Because I know I will see you again.”
“A Girl Cried Red” brings Princess Nokia to new depths and will likely change how many people perceive her and her music. She shines on this mixtape, and her musical presence lingers long after listening to these beautiful, rash and lonely songs. Through all the highs and lows that come from a life with depression, Princess Nokia has made a mixtape with an honest and vibrant feeling to it despite the darkness that inspired its lyrics.